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Staying Healthy



Staying healthy and extending your life after age 65 not only requires some preventative maintenance but preemptive checking to catch problems in the earliest possible stages while it is still possible to fix them. Toward that end, Medicare has established an “Annual Wellness Visit” and Bestcare has opened a new office next door to our primary care practice.

The Annual Wellness Visit is not a standard “physical,” conventional checkup, or fix when you are sick. For illnesses, aches and pains, visit our primary or urgent care facilities next door. The result of a Wellness Visit is a proactive plan for your preventive care in the coming year to help you achieve optimal wellness.

What to expect

The visit is easy to do and pleasant from beginning to end. Start with a complimentary cup of coffee in our waiting room. Well ask you to fill out a health-risk assessment questionnaire covering your medical history and lifestyle. Next we’ll record your height, weight, and body mass index (BMI).


Then you’ll sit down with a qualified provider for an interview. They will conduct a general health exam of your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, explore your medical and family history, discuss your current medications, establish a list of your current health providers and drug prescriptions, and cover any risk factors you should be aware of. The visit also includes a screening for any cognitive impairments plus an immunization and screening schedule for the next 5-10 years.

wellness-center-patientDuring the session you’ll get expert advice on vital aspects of your health including,

  • How to ensure healthy brain function
  • How to prevent shortness of breath
  • Tips for maintaining and improving your memory
  • Home exercise program anyone can do
  • Ways to improve your health
  • How to manage your blood sugar levels by what you eat
  • How to divide your plate to ensure correctly sized servings

The services you receive as part of your interview depend on your personal health, family history, age, and Medicare coverage eligibility. If warranted, you may be invited back for diabetes testing or brain function testing.

Brain Function Check

Your brain is your most important organ since it serves as the headquarters of your nervous system and controls all parts of the body. Brain heath can result in anxiety, attention issues, depression, forgetfulness, injury, pain, sleep issues and stress.

The test is interesting and takes about 45 minutes. You’ll do a series of exercises on a computer while wearing an electroencephalography (EEG) cap, similar to a swim cap, that painlessly monitors your brain’s electronic activity.

brain-health-testThis test can detect the presence of enzymes collecting to the detriment of brain health. This can give about 10 years advance warning on conditions which today can be halted with early detection, including memory loss,  stress-related issues, depression, and cognitive impairment — including conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Dr. Carlson can use neurotherapy to safely target specific areas in your brain that are not performing optimally to get them to naturally “fire and wire” together.

Cardio-Pulmonary Check

This 6-minute, non-invasive test accurately evaluates your cardiopulmonary health, to safeguard the function of heart and lungs. Over the past decade, direct measurements that quantify breathing efficiency have emerged as leading predicators of risk in patients with heart failure.

Small Nerve Damage Check

This test, called a “SudoScan,” measures small nerve damage in your hands and feet that can happen early in diabetes. The object is to identify your risk and preventative actions through the definition of a health and lifestyle program.

The Ankle Brachial Index Check (ABI)

By comparing the blood pressure in your lower legs against the blood pressure in your arms we can discover if you are at risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the blood vessels of your legs. Plaque, if allowed to build up in arteries, can hinder blood flow. This test can help you avoid pain, numbness and amputation. If disease is detected, a stent can be put in to restore blood circulation.



Lifestyle Change Check

During your visit, we’ll review your functional ability and level of safety. For example, how safe is your home? Are you at risk from falling on wet floors, shower stalls, or stairs? Are there hazards you might trip over such as torn carpeting or clutter in the garage? Do you have any vision or hearing impairment that might contribute to a car accident? We will assess all such activities including your ability to perform the daily activities of living such as bathing yourself and getting dressed.

Based on your answers, we’ll supply advice and even referrals to health education or preventive counseling services, or programs designed to eliminate risk factors and promote wellness such as weight loss, physical activity, smoking cessation, fall prevention, and nutrition.

If changes in diet or fitness are recommended, or if you need to quit smoking, we can help with support and guidance for your progress.

What Medicare Covers

Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, your once-yearly Annual Wellness Visit at Bestcare is covered with no coinsurance, copays, or deductible.

Then you’ll sit down with a qualified provider for an interview. They will conduct a general health exam of your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, explore your medical and family history, discuss your current medications, establish a list of your current health providers and drug prescriptions, and cover any risk factors you should be aware of. The visit also includes a screening for any cognitive impairments plus an immunization and screening schedule for the next 5-10 years.

As a service to our community, this section is devoted to articles to help you stay healthy and keep your family well.

If there is a particular subject you would like to know more about, please let us know.

Our waiting roomEveryone needs to learn and use universal health precautions. Infants and young children who spend time in group childcare settings generally have a higher number of illnesses than children kept at home. Frequently, those caring for young children experience increased illnesses as well. As some diseases are contagious even before symptoms appear, care providers need to be aware of how diseases are communicated among children and between children and providers. By always observing caution, providers can do much to prevent the spread of disease.

Common Types of Communicable Diseases

A communicable disease is any bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection in the body that can be spread from one individual to another. This varies from the common cold and flu to more uncommon diseases like meningitis. Some of the more common diseases in young children are

  • colds
  • chicken pox
  • diarrhea
  • ring worm/head lice
  • impetigo

Infectious diseases of a more serious nature include

  • meningitis
  • hepatitis

Clearly, the transmission of cold germs from one person to another does not carry with it the life-threatening implications of a disease like hepatitis or AIDS. On the other hand, some common diseases can be life-threatening if they are not treated appropriately. For example, bacteria and parasites that cause gastrointestinal illnesses, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, can be quite serious in young children. Diarrheal diseases can even be fatal if a child becomes severely dehydrated. 

How Diseases are Transmitted

Before looking at ways to prevent the spread of disease, it is helpful to know the ways diseases are transmitted. Diseases are caused by germs, which are transmitted from one person to another through

  • the air
  • urine and feces
  • blood
  • saliva
  • skin
  • drainage, such as nasal mucus or pus from open sores

Germs multiply rapidly in warm moist places. When objects or hands touch places where there are a lot of germs, they pick up the germs, which then enter the body through the nose, eyes, mouth, and/or broken skin.

Impetigo and ring worm are transmitted via direct physical contact with the infected areas of skin.

Diseases like colds, chicken pox, and some forms of meningitis are transmitted largely via the air through sneezes and coughs, although they can also be spread through saliva and nasal drainage.

Diarrhea, which generally is a symptom of some gastrointestinal virus, bacteria, or parasite, is transmitted through feces. Some forms of hepatitis can also be transmitted via feces or through urine and blood. Blood and blood products are the major carriers of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Precautions Against Diseases

lab-workThe precautions necessary to prevent the spread of one disease are the same for another, regardless of whether the disease is life-threatening. Because diseases can spread from child to child, from child to care provider, and from provider to child, the same precautions — known as universal precautions — should be used. This is also true whether care is being provided for one child or a group of children, and whether the care is in the child’s home, the provider’s home, or in a child care setting. Consistently following appropriate procedures also avoids the unpleasant task of singling out a particular child.

The single most important way to prevent infection is frequent hand washing by both adults and children. To minimize the spread of disease to everything that is touched, wash the hands with a liquid disinfectant soap for several minutes. Hands should be washed after toileting/diapering, before preparing or eating food, after handling an animal, after covering a sneeze or cough, after blowing the nose, before and after treating a sore or wound. At Bestcare Family Medical Center we’ve made prevention committed to being your family doctors and family physicians in Garland Tx. We’ve always been in the business of providing quality health care that allows people to lead healthy and productive lives.

It is also important to follow these two general rules of hygiene: 1) Personal grooming articles, such as combs and toothbrushes, and clothing, particularly hats, should never be shared and should be labeled and stored separately. 2) Toys and equipment should be cleaned and sanitized frequently, particularly in programs that care for infants and toddlers, who tend to put everything in their mouths.

Diseases that are spread via the air, such as colds, are probably the most difficult to prevent. However, it is possible to control the spread of these germs by

  • providing care in well-ventilated areas
  • using disposable tissues and depositing soiled tissues in covered containers
  • washing toys and eating utensils thoroughly and frequently
  • laundering bed linens between use by different children

Because many diseases can be spread via urine and feces, it is important to

  • Always wash hands prior to and after changing diapers or assisting a child with toileting.
  • Wear disposable gloves whenever possible when changing diapers or assisting with toileting.
  • Store soiled diapers in a covered container.
  • Use a diaper service or disposable diapers whenever possible.
  • Disinfect the changing table after each diapering.
  • Locate the diapering area and sink away from the food preparation area.

To prevent the spread of skin infections or blood-borne pathogens like HIV

  • Cover any open sore on either a child or a provider with a bandage.
  • Dispose of soiled bandages or other dressings in a covered container inaccessible to others.
  • Require permission from a physician before a child with skin eruptions can participate in a group setting.
  • Sanitize bed linens before they are used by another child.
  • Wear disposable gloves whenever possible when cleaning wounds and applying or changing bandages and dressings.

Staying Healthy

Maintain you health by following these guidelines:

  • Wash hands properly and frequently.
  • Maintain current immunizations, especially tetanus.
  • Take scheduled breaks and vacations.
  • Observe good nutrition.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Rest sufficiently each day.

Take care of yourself when you are ill so as not to spread germs to others. Give yourself a chance to recuperate properly. Healthy adults are the key to healthy, happy children and families.

Quality Health Care

Regular health exams, checkups, and tests with your family physician or health care provider can help find problems before they start. By getting the right health care, diagnostic tests, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that ensure all the members of your family will live healthier and happier lives. At BestCare Family Medical Center we’ve always provided your family with the best family care and urgent care available in Dallas County. Our practice in Garland Texas also serves Dallas, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, Rockwall, Wylie, Sachse and surrounding communities. Call BestCare at 972-240-1789 to schedule an appointment today.


Some bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections are contagious even before symptoms appear. Therefore, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of these communicable diseases. Precautions necessary to prevent the spread of germs are the same for all diseases and should be followed regularly and consistently in every setting. The single most important precaution is hand washing. Other universal precautions include properly caring for and cleaning toys, utensils, personal care items, clothing, and bed linens, wearing disposable gloves when necessary, and properly disposing of articles soiled by bodily fluids.

Help for Smokers and Tobacco Users

Quitting is hard but you can do it. Many people try several times before they quit for good. But they do succeed. This article tells you about ways you can quit.

Good Reasons for Quitting

You will feel better

  • You will have more energy and breathe easier
  • Your chances of getting sick will decrease

Photo of child being examinedThe signs and symptoms of infection that are listed here should be brought to your doctor's attention. Of course, whenever your child has a symptom that concerns you, you should not hesitate to call your doctor, whether or not the symptom appears on this list. 
Although some symptoms of illness differ depending on a child's age, some are the same for all children.

  Our waiting room is stocked with toys for children.

For any child, infant to adolescent, call your doctor if you observe any of the following:

  • High fever (The level of fever that is considered significant depends on the age of the child, the illness, and whether the child has other symptoms with the fever)
  • Chills that make the child shake all over
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Extreme sleepiness or unexplained lethargy
  • Unusual excitement or hysterical crying
  • Sudden weakness or paralysis of any part of the body
  • Seizures (convulsions) or uncontrollable shaking of an arm or leg
  • Severe headache
  • Pain, heaviness, or stuffiness around the nose, eyes, or forehead
  • Nasal fluid that is discolored, bad-smelling, or bloody
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Earache
  • Fluid discharge from the ear
  • Sudden decrease in vision
  • Eyes that are red, swollen, and watery, with or without blurred vision
  • Eyes that are extremely sensitive to light, especially if your child also has a fever, headache, or stiff neck
  • A yellow color in the whites of the eyes or in the skin, especially with pain in the abdomen and/or dark or tea-colored urine
  • Stiffness or pain in the neck, especially with fever or headache
  • Severe sore throat, especially with trouble swallowing or speaking
  • Uncontrolled drooling because of painful swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing, especially with pale or bluish color of the lips or nails
  • Unusually rapid breathing
  • Severe or persistent cough, especially if it brings up bloody or discolored mucus
  • Vomiting for 12 hours or more
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Intense or unusual abdominal pain
  • Swollen or abnormally large abdomen
  • Diarrhea that is streaked with blood or mucus
  • Pain in the middle of the back, especially with fever or with discomfort while urinating
  • Painful or unusually frequent urination
  • Urine that is discolored, bloody, cloudy, or has an unusual smell
  • Discharge from the penis
  • Vaginal discharge that is thick and white, brown or discolored, or smells bad
  • Pain, redness, or swelling of a joint that can't be explained by exercise or injury
  • A cut or scrape that oozes pus or becomes hot, red, tender, or swollen
  • A sudden rash, or sudden crop of blotches or blisters, especially over a large area of the body 

Special Signs and Symptoms - birth to 1 month old

  • Fever (rectal temperature of 100.4ºF should prompt a call to the doctor)
  • Baby suddenly becomes "floppy" - loses muscle tone all over
  • One or both eyes are pink, bloodshot, have a sticky white discharge, or eyelashes that stick together
  • Diarrhea in newborns - more than six to eight watery stools per day (breast-fed newborns often have more loose stools than formula-fed babies; check with your doctor for guidance)
  • Redness or tenderness around the navel area
  • White patches in the mouth 

Nose blocked by mucus so baby can't breathe while feeding
  • Forceful vomiting
  • Vomiting that lasts for 12 hours or more
  • Vomiting with fever and/or diarrhea
  • Baby stops feeding normally
  • Crying for an abnormally long time

Special Signs and Symptoms - 1 month to 1 year

  • Fever (rectal temperature 100.4ºF in infants younger than 3 months, 101ºF in infants ages 3 to 6 months, and 104ºF in a child 6 months or older should prompt a call to the doctor)
  • Baby refuses to eat and misses several feedings
  • Baby is unusually cranky and irritable or unusually sleepy

Professional Health Care is Essential

  • Getting regular check-ups for your children ensures that they'll stay healthy and happy! Your family doctor or family physician can help. Bestcare Family Medical Center in Garland Texas is committed to providing your whole family with the best medical care and urgent care. We're easy to find... our medical offices are located in Garland Tx. We also serve Dallas, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, Rockwall, Wylie, Sachse and surrounding communities. Call BestCare at 972-240-1789 to schedule an appointment today...we also accept walk-ins.

How germs travelContrary to popular belief, the most common way germs are transferred from one person to another is not through the air, but through our hands. When someone is sick and he or she touches his or her mouth or nose, germs transfer to the fingers. If you shake hands, touch money, a pen, a door knob, those germs can transfer to you. And then all you have to do is touch your own nose, mouth or eye to start the cycle of sickness.

Washing your hands more frequently with soap and water, or using an anti-bacterial product like Purell will help sanitize your hands and protect you from illness. That's why in our waiting room, you will find plenty of anti-bacterial dispensers. We also clean our facility with grain alcohol throughout the day to keep surfaces sparkling so whenever you arrive you can feel comfortable and won't have to worry about the germs.

Exam Room Themes

Each of our exam rooms is decorated in a theme to make your visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

exam-room-italy   exam-room-hollywood
Italy-themed exam room.   Film-themed exam room.
exam-room-music   exam-room-ocean
Music-themed exam room.   Ocean-themed exam room.

Expert care + unique decor makes BestCare fun

As an avid collector of antiques and collectibles, Dr. Carlson presents many of his favorites at BestCare. These change all the time, so there's always something new to see and enjoy!

batmobile   antique-penny-arcade
An original Batmobile from the 1950s.   An antique penny arcade in the waiting room.
Original hand-drawn artwork used to produce Mad Magazine's much-beloved Spy vs. Spy cartoons.

But the most important ears
belong to the doctor.


A doctor’s eyes can tell him a lot. His ears can tell him more. Because listening and healing go hand in hand.

(972) 240-1789

David Carlson, MD


Dr. David Carlson, Bestcare Medical Director, has been serving the community for more than 25 years.

Josanne Howard, PA


Educated in Texas and Pennsylvania, Josanne Howard, PA (left) brings warmth, a positive attitude and and broad knowledge as a seasoned veteran of emergency and urgent care. 

Lauren Crumm, PA-C


A former Air Force Brat and the oldest of four children, Lauren Crumm received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M University and her Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. After graduation she worked for four years as a certified PA before relocating to Garland, Texas after accepting a position at BestCare!

We have a lot of personality
here at BestCare Garland.


And we understand that you do too! Having a family doctor means having a doctor who knows you. You’re not just a nameless face in the crowd hoping for the best. Having a family doctor assures you of the BestCare.

 (972) 240-1789

Meet our staff


Meet the friendly and experienced medical staff who make the challenge of getting well easy and fast. 

Easy 4 U

Call Ahead Service

It's like getting here before you actually get here. Call us just before you leave and get your name on the list. When you arrive, your wait will be minimal.

Call Waiting

We also have a Convenient Call Waiting Service. If you want to leave BestCare before you've been seen, give us a phone number and we'll call as soon as we're ready to see you.




Having a family doctor is like having a doctor in the family


It's no accident D Magazine named us the “Best Doctors in Dallas” for Family Medicine. For more than 20 years, we’ve been healing, mending and making Texans well in a meticulously clean facility. When you come to BestCare you’ll see the friendly face of a doctor you know. BestCare Family Medical Center is easy to get to and offers two choices: Our Urgent Care Center takes walk-ins—no appointment necessary. Or set an appointment online or by phone for Primary Care. Have a daytime job? We’ll see you over lunch, after work or on weekends. Our in-house X-rays and lab work are less expensive, too!   Learn more...

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  • Primary Care
  • Urgent Care
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  • Avoid the long waits and hassles of emergency room x-rays when you need walk-in emergency care in Garland.
    • Urgent Care
  • You can come to Bestcare for minor emergencies including all manner of non-life-threatening medical situations.
    • Urgent Care
  • Flu shots and tests. Immunizations. Flu shots take time to work, get yours in August and September.
    • Primary Care
  • We test to diagnose sniffles, sore throat and coughs using our own lab facilities right on premises.
    • Primary Care
  • Medical Checkups, annual physicals, school physicals. Wellness Physical. Well-Woman exams.
    • Primary Care
  • For 25 years, Bestcare has treated children of all ages. In addition to being medical professionals, we also parents.
    • Primary Care
  • Heart disease is often avoidable. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated.
    • Primary Care
  • We provide discrete treatment for sexual transmitted diseases including HIV screening and treatment.
    • Primary Care
  • Mammograms, pregnancy testing, pap smears, and more to protect women's health.
    • Primary Care
  • As people age, they often experience varying kinds of aches and pains, from headaches to acid reflux.
    • Primary Care
  • Dr. David Carlson can teach you everything you need to know about diabetes.
    • Primary Care
  • We can help smokers quit with medications that work. Feel better right away and enjoy better health.
    • Primary Care
  • In April 2013, a medical journal called Annals of Allergy, Asthma
    • Primary Care
  • It’s best to treat any eye injury as a potential emergency.  Some types of infections can cause serious harm in
    • Primary Care
  • Obesity is a medical problem that we can help you overcome.
    • Primary Care
  • BestCare Pediatrics

    Bestcare Pediatrics You know BestCare Garland as a family practice, but did you know we also offer specialized pediatric care