by Lisa Countryman
In contrast The Washington Post, reporting on a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published an article this morning illustrating the failure of family-practice and internal medicine physicians to implement sufficient preventive care and immunizations. In the study, conducted around 500 visits with 64 Michigan-based physicians, two-thirds of possible immunizations were not scheduled, and half of all counseling services and over a quarter of screening tests were not initiated.
The Post offered a variety of likely explanations: prevention doesn’t pay like treating disease does, doctors are not sufficiently trained in initiating those conversation, which can be awkward (especially around weight issues), and everyone has limited time.
This comparison helps to make clear what Secretary Sebelius means when she says that Community Health Centers are a ‘model’ for health care: Community Health Centers are always working to get the most out of very limited resources. In order to keep operating and to continue to serve the communities we serve, we have to invest the majority of our efforts in prevention, in health coaching, in health education and in chronic care management. That is how we keep our costs low and keep our community members out of the emergency room. It is also how we keep our Community Health Center focused on the community.
St. Anthony Medical Clinic is proud to offer a wide range of wellness and prevention resources, including: bilingual education groups on Asthma, Diabetes and Obesity, Nutrition Counseling, Healthy Living classes, Self-Management and Goal Setting appointments, Smoking Cessation, Acupuncture, Women’s Support Group, Behavioral Health and Stress Reduction, Allergy Treatment and Group Counseling.