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NEWS | July 2, 2012

The gift of health

By Maj. Helda Carey 628th Medical Group Disease Management nurse

"Every human being is the author of his own health or disease." (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

Whether young or less young, you should always take care of your health. Taking care of your body prevents or decreases the likelihood of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other medical problems.

Achieving or maintaining a healthy state is simple, but requires discipline and dedication. Taking steps to eat healthier, exercise and manage any existing medical conditions will reward you with the greatest gift of all; the gift of health!

To begin your journey to better health, your health care partners at the 628th Medical Group, recommend that you schedule a routine physical with your Primary Care Manager. Whether healthy or already having medical problems, a physical is an opportunity for you to meet your PCM, receive a comprehensive evaluation of your current health status and guide you to improve or manage your health.

A routine annual physical or as instructed by your health provider visit will:
· Screen for diseases
· Assess risk of future medical problems
· Encourage a healthy lifestyle
· Update vaccinations
· Maintain a relationship with your health provider team for better continuity of care
· Refer you for further screening test or further medical care as needed

Take time to evaluate your current health status and that of your family. If you or your family has been following a less than optimal nutritional program and a less than optimal physical activity routine, scheduling a routine physical exam will provide valuable information to improve your and your families' health.

If, on the other hand, you see yourself as healthy, scheduling a physical will provide you with a baseline of your health status and encourage you to continue habits aimed at staying healthy. Your PCM team is your primary link to helping you manage your medical care.

Scheduling a physical for 628 MDG TRICARE Prime beneficiaries is simple:
1. Contact the appointment line at 843-963-6800 to schedule a well visit.
2. Request a PCM team member call you back regarding instructions on any needed or recommended lab work for you to accomplish prior to the day of your scheduled visit. (Having the results available on the day of your appointment assists your PCM to evaluate how your body is functioning).
3. Bring a list with the names of all the medications you are taking, how much you take, how often you take them and the reason for taking each medication. (Include over the counter medications, vitamins, herbs and any other supplements).
4. For diabetic or hypertensive patients, we recommend bringing a log of your blood sugars and/or blood pressure readings. This log will provide your PCM with a better picture of how you are managing your condition at home.

Patients with diabetes, hypertension (elevated blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (elevated blood lipids) and asthma should schedule a yearly physical and follow up as instructed by their PCM. The Disease Management team in close communication with the PCM teams monitors and coordinates care for patients with these medical conditions.

The Disease Management team, composed of two registered nurses, ensures patients are receiving appropriate medical care to manage their condition. The team aims to increase awareness and educate patients on ways to improve their health and prevent or decrease medical complications associated with these conditions.

As the poet Marcus Valerius Martialis quoted: "Life is not merely being alive, but being well".

Staying healthy is easier than you think! You can do it! We are here to help you.
Contact Maj. Karen Henderson at 963-6978 or Maj. Helda Carey at 963-6738 for more information.