News From Winter 2022 – 2023

Wellness on Wheels Winter 2022-2023
Wellness on Wheels Winter 2022-2023

As I write this newsletter, it is the wettest and coldest winter in Los Angeles since 1989. Our city has experienced floods, power outages, and even an ice storm. Through it all, the Wellness on Wheels team thrives on providing quality services to our community in person and virtually. We continue to expand our services and now even include housekeeping. Our team is professional and efficient and is sensitive to our client’s physical and mental health conditions.

As a Care Coordinator

I am always amazed by my team of clinicians as I turn to them for professional advice and collaboration. As a Care Coordinator, I receive calls from families concerned and confused about issues ranging from medical billing, proper home care, options for placement to assisted living, and request for referrals to geriatricians and various other specialists. Over the years, I have been able to create an amazing network of sources both in the Medical and allied medical community. I can call on consultants to provide concierge services in the home, such as optometry, dental hygiene, psychology, podiatry, and even dermatology. Our Allied services include in-home caregiving support, home health, hospice, and placement in assisted living facilities.

Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

Recently I was called in to assess the need for an Alzheimer-diagnosed young senior for placement into a board and care. His wife and part-time caregivers were attempting his care at home and had reached their limit due to his difficult behavior. While I focused on finding the proper facility for my client, I had major concerns for his wife, who seemed overwhelmed and stressed. While there was family and professional caregiver support, it was not 24-7. She was sure she needed to give her husband better care but could not come to terms with the fact that she could not manage his care at home.

I brought in our team psychologist for an in-home consultation and owners of two board and care facilities for client assessments, and everyone was on the same page about the need for my client’s placement. The professional advice given to the family was consistent-place your husband now before his current behavior gets worse and no one will take him into their board and care. Ultimately, the family decided to keep my client at home and bring in additional care. While I could see how this situation would unfold as this decision was made, I did not push it. 

His wife appreciated the many hours I had spent with her and how much she had learned from me. Deep down, she knew this was a short-term solution to a long-term problem. I left the door open for her to call me whenever she needed emotional support or changed her mind about keeping her husband at home as his disease progressed.


Introducing Grand Specialty Pharmacy

In my last newsletter, I introduced our Wellness on Wheels team Pharmaceutical Consultant and owner of Grand Specialty Pharmacy, Dr. Armin Behel. As the owner of one of the busiest compounding pharmacies in Los Angeles, he has been bombarded with the demand for the type 2 diabetes meds that have now been approved by the FDA for weight loss. There has been such a high demand for these products that it created a worldwide shortage. There has been extensive coverage in the media regarding the proper usage of these products, as they have major side effects. We have all seen the TV ads for Ozempic, and it seems easy to just give yourself a little shot once a week in the hope of losing a few pounds. Doctors quickly prescribe this expensive medication without regard for a combined nutritional and exercise program to be part of the overall weight loss management program.

Grand Specialty Pharmacy Dr Behel

Here, we will ask, Dr. Behel his input on this growing weight loss movement and see if there are other pharmaceutical formulas that may be safer and based on the patient’s individual needs.

Question: Dr. Behel, What other medications are available for compounding as an alternative to Semaglutide, which is an insulin-boosting injectable medication normally used for Type 2 diabetes patients and now prescribed for weight loss?

Answer: If a patient has a BMI of over 30, then they are considered to be obese. If they cannot tolerate the side effects of Semaglutide, such as nausea, diarrhea, lethargy, and dizziness, then other products can be compounded at our pharmacy that is safe in assisting with weight loss.

Examples include Naltrexone-bupropion and Phentermine-topiramate, which make you feel less hungry and full sooner. There is also Liraglutide which targets the area of the brain that regulates appetite, and methylcobalamin which is a B vitamin that boosts the metabolism and provides energy. Acarbose, which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, and Orlistat which blocks the enzymes that digest fats, can also be combined for effective weight loss. But let’s remember that proper diet and exercise must be used for these compounds to work, as they are short-term solutions, not long-term lifestyle answers.

So, if you or your doctor have any specific questions regarding the compounding of these medications, please feel free to call me for a consultation.

Grand Specialty Pharmacy can deliver your meds to your door Monday-Saturday and even ship to New York and Florida. One-on-one consultations are now available by Dr. Behel for patients and their families who need an objective analysis of the various medications they are prescribed. Please feel free to call me directly (323) 868-0444 for an appointment with Dr. Behel.

For fast delivery of your medications, call Grand Specialty Pharmacy at

In the upcoming newsletters, we will feature a column on various pharmaceutical topics where Dr. Behel can share his knowledge on existing and upcoming cutting edge drugs, nutraceuticals and compounds.

Keep Cool and focus on your mental and physical health.

Cheers, Gigi

Gigi Desouki

Gigi DeSouki

Founder & CEO

Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University.

As published in Wellness on Wheels Newsletter by Gigi DeSouki, MHA


Gigi DeSouki has a strong background in Health Care Management, with over thirty five years of experience in various areas of domestic and international health care delivery systems. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University.

Several of our Wellness on Wheels team members are offering free or discounted consultations and online exercise classes. Here is just a short list of how we can help you and your family both in person or virtually.

Contact us about our telehealth services. 

Dr Armin Behel

Dr. Armin Behel

Pharmaceutical Consultant

Owner of Grand Specialty Pharmacy available for one on one consultations with an objective analysis of the various medications they are prescribed.

Dr Andrea Renee DACM

Dr. Andrea Renee Rivera


Doctoral and Master Degrees in Acupuncture with Orthopedics and Chigong specializations, certified Asian Body Work Therapist

Roni B. Maccabee, PhD Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Roni Maccabee

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Roni Maccabee is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 15 years of experience in the field of mental health.

Chef Claudine Marshall

Chef Claudine Marshall

Chief Culinary Director

A Private Chef and owner of a Catering Company, Chef Claudine serves as the Chief Culinary Director for Wellness on Wheels.

Michael J. Patinelli - Partner Patinelli and Chang

Michael Patinelli, Esq.

Family & Estate Planning

Michael Patinelli has been focused on building a welcoming, friendly, and trusted practice. Free telephone consult available.

Nico Capurro, CPT

Nico Capurro


Nico is a nationally certified personal trainer and massage therapist with over 16 years of experience in Kinesiology/ restorative exercise and physique competition.