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Moore keeping busy with new book, TV appearances

March 16, 2009

By: Linda Sadlouskos

On television, Dr. Donnica Moore has discussed the medical aspects of celebrity deaths, but the usual information she dispenses is how the average woman can take charge of her own health.

Moore, who lives in Peapack-Gladstone and was a Branchburg resident for 15 years, has a book on that subject, "Women's Health for Life," due out today.

The busy doctor also recently was featured in a special airing of "Unforgettable Hollywood Tragedies" on the E! Entertainment Channel. Moore says she is quoted as an expert discussing the famous deaths of 15 celebrities from common causes, such as television newsman Tim Russert's coronary heart disease, to the exotic, including "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's fatal encounter with a stingray.

Moore, trained as an obstetrician and gynecologist, says she has appeared on more than 375 television interviews, including "The View" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She often focuses on women's health.

"The most important thing is that I call women's attention to the things they can do for themselves, but I always emphasize the importance of working with their doctor as partners in health," Moore says.

The single most essential step any woman can take is to stay fit through diet and exercise. While writing and editing her book, Moore says it became clear how important a healthy eating and lifestyle are for every organ system in the body — not only the heart, but also for skin, hair and reproductive functioning.

Moore's book, published by Dorling Kindersley, will be released today on Amazon.com. It is due in bookstores in early April.

Moore also maintains a Web site, www.drdonnica.com, with information about women's health. She is president of Sapphire Women's Health Group, a multimedia women's health education and communications firm.

Not long ago, because of her own schedule, Moore says she realized that she herself had not seen an internist in five years. She says many women have a tendency to put off attending to their own health needs in order to meet other obligations and take care of other family members first.

Moore's own health challenges led her to seek another path of medicine soon after she trained in her specialty at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Spinal surgery forced her into taking a detour into clinical research and medical education at the former Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp. in East Hanover. In that role, she increased her medical affiliations until she landed as a weekly commentator on women's health at "NBC's Later Today" from 1999-2000.

Moore also spoke in front of the United Nations earlier this month on the status of women and AIDS worldwide. In addressing a larger audience, Moore takes a common sense approach that seems to resonate with many women.

Moore sometimes talks about what questions women should ask during a scheduled doctor's visit.

"I really see my role as helping patients make the time they have with their personal physicians more effective," she says.

One of the celebrity deaths featured on E! is comedian Gilda Radner's struggle with ovarian cancer. Moore says the symptoms of the disease, such as bloating, are subtle, but should be mentioned to a physician.

One of the most gratifying aspects of her work is when she receives an e-mail that someone followed up on her advice and received successful treatment for a health problem.

Moore also offers plenty of encouragement about taking small steps in the right direction to regain health.

For example, she said a woman can begin exercising at first for short periods, or she might give up just one usual serving of an unhealthy food or drink, such as soda.

"You don't have to be perfect," she advises. "You just have to do a little better today than yesterday."

In times where most people are trying to economize, Moore says healthy living can be good for one's wallet too. Household food budgets can be slashed by cutting out junk food, or reducing oversized meal portions.

It doesn't cost anything to go outside and take a walk, or to walk indoors at a mall if the weather is bad. In the long run, staying as healthy as possible reduces medical bills as well as increasing energy and vitality.

Click here to hear Dr. Donnica discuss her book.

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