Valued Parish Families,
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to you about how achieving good health is a partnership between you and your primary care clinician. To achieve good health requires:
- You making a commitment to be healthy. This means maintaining a healthy balanced diet; staying away from sugar, sodas and fried foods; exercising regularly; and getting a good nights’ sleep every night.
- You making a commitment to getting under the care and staying under the care of a primary care clinician. This means seeing your doctor on a regular basis to receive the core preventative care you need to stay healthy. It also means going to your dentist every six months to have your teeth cleaned and examined.
- You making a commitment to keep your medical and dental appointments. Most medical and dental practices have a waiting list of patients wanting to get in for services. When you fail to keep your appointment, you’re preventing someone else from getting in sooner. You’re also wasting your clinicians time holding an appointment slot for you when someone else could have been seen. As our health conditions change all the time, the key to catching a medical or dental situation before it gets out of hand is keeping your appointments with your medical and dental clinician.
- You making a commitment to work with your medical and dental clinicians to outline a mutually-developed medical/dental care plan. It is also important when your care plans have been developed, that you consistently follow them so your overall health does not deteriorate. Going to the doctor/dentist is one thing. Listening to them and following your care plans is another. Critical to obtaining/maintaining good health is staying under the care of a medical and dental clinician and staying on the care plans they develop with you.
- You staying motivated to stay healthy. No one else can help you stay healthy if you are not committed to staying healthy. This requires a life-long and daily commitment.
Let me now talk for a few minutes about what many people say when I ask them, “Why don’t you keep you medical/dental appointments?” Reasons often cited include:
- I wasn’t sick. Well just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your medical/dental appointments. In fact, the key to ensuring you don’t get sick is working with your medical/dental clinician to stay healthy. The key to good health is prioritizing getting the preventative medical/dental services needed to keep you healthy whether you feel sick or not.
- I had to work. We all have to work. But often-times we don’t stop to think about the implications of our getting sick and not being able to work. I wonder how often we skip our medical/dental appointments? I can assure you we wish we would have kept them when something goes wrong medically and requires us to miss work. While getting/keeping a job is important to one’s quality of life, so is staying healthy and it requires regular visits with your primary care clinician.
- I didn’t think I needed to see the doctor/dentist. Part of getting and staying healthy is forming a strong, respectful and trusting relationship with your medical/ dental clinician. So, when/where your clinician and you outline a care plan for you, there must be a trust between the two of you. You both need to do your part to honor your mutually-developed care plan. Your clinician cannot keep their end of the pact if you won’t come in to see them regularly and/or as prescribed. This is certainly one of the top reasons why people’s health declines. The repeated failure to get under the care and stay under the care of your medical/dental clinician will not improve your health. After not keeping your appointments, and you finally make a visit oftentimes the disease is out of control resulting in you having to be admitted into the hospital and/or requiring more extensive care. Every time I drive by a graveyard and/or see an ambulance racing down the road, I wonder how many of those folks are where they are because they didn’t think they needed to keep their appointments with their clinician.
- I didn’t have the money to see the doctor. Federally Qualified Health Centers were brought up to help ensure the ability to pay for core medical/dental services would never be a barrier to receiving good medical/dental care. Outpatient Medical Center, Inc. is a Federally Qualified Health Center (system) and we are committed to ensuring you receive the high-quality, cost-effective, medically- appropriate, and culturally sensitive medical/dental behavioral health services your family and you deserve. Whether you have the money to pay for these services or not, the services will be offered to you. So to those who use their not having money as an excuse for not seeing their clinician, I would submit to them this question: How can you afford not to see your clinician? Your continued failure to do so, at some point, will adversely affect your health and quality of life.
- My pride is a barrier. For some individuals, pride keeps them from coming to the doctor/dentist and the sad reality is pride is killing people and debilitating them at increasingly younger ages every day. If pride is keeping you from coming to see your doctor/dentist, I encourage you to set your pride aside; see your doctor/dentist on a regular basis and stay healthy and whole.
I cannot place enough emphasis on the fact, the key to getting healthy and staying healthy requires an ongoing commitment from you to get under the care and stay under the care of a primary care clinician. It is equally important that you keep your medical/dental appointments and continually receive the preventative medical/dental services required to help keep you healthy. As a society we must take more personal responsibility for working in partnership with our primary care clinician to stay healthy and whole. Until we do, we will continue to see our loved ones debilitated at increasingly younger ages and our graveyards filling up with loved ones being put there far too soon. Good health – is up to you.
In closing, if you or someone in your family are not currently under the care of a primary care clinician, I encourage you to pick up the phone and call to schedule an appointment with our health system today. It is a call that can help improve the quality of your life. And, it just might be the call to save your life. Caring for you is what we do at Outpatient Medical Center, Inc.
OMC is now accepting new patients and welcomes active duty, reserve, retired military Veterans and their families.
Natchitoches: 1640 Breazeale Springs St., Natchitoches, LA 71457 1-800-268-5872
Leesville: 1603 B Boone St., Leesville, LA 71446 1-800-308-7569
Tallulah: 804 Beech St., Tallulah, LA 1-800-308-7566