April 20, 2016

The Importance of Annual Physicals

 

iStock_000009941499Medium_retThe most important reasons to have an annual physical is to catch health problems before they worsen and prevent future illness. Your physician will check your heart and blood pressure to see if you are at risk for cardiovascular problems or heart disease. Perhaps it is time for you to receive a vaccination, or maybe you are due for a mammogram or prostate exam. Catching serious conditions in their early stages can make treatment more effective. CHI St. Joseph Health Primary Care Physician Anne L. Moser, M.D. shares that “the earlier you engage in preventive measures, the sooner your overall health can benefit.” Your healthcare provider will give you the tools you need to take care of yourself.

An annual physical is the perfect time to share any changes you have noticed in your overall health. Have you noticed any bodily changes? Have you been experiencing any emotional problems? Have you been concerned about certain symptoms? Now is the time to let your doctor know. Your healthcare provider can recommend changes to improve your health or prescribe medications to control symptoms.

Important Health Exams

Your doctor can help determine which health exams are needed based on your current conditions, family history, and age.

Important exams for men include:

  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Infectious disease screening
  • Testicular exam

Important exams for women include:

  • Blood pressure screening
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Lung cancer screening
  • Breast exam
  • Mammogram
  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear
  • Skin exam

Take care of your health and future by scheduling an annual wellness exam with CHI St. Joseph Health Family Medicine. Our board-certified physicians located throughout the Brazos Valley have convenient office hours and quick appointment scheduling.

Sources:

CDC – Checkup

CDC – Checkup Checklist

NIH – Exams for Men Ages 40 to 64

NIH – Exams for Women Ages 40 to 64

NIH – Exams for Men Ages 18 to 39

October 8, 2015

It Takes a TEAM

ST. JOSEPH HEALTH SYSTEM IS COMMITTED BY MISSION TO PROVIDE OUR COMMUNITY WITH ACCESS TO QUALITY CARE.  OUR ADVANCED PRACTICE CLINICIANS (APCS) HELP US ACCOMPLISH THAT.

“When you see one of our advanced practice clinicians, whether a physician assistant or an advanced practice registered nurse, you are receiving care from a masters’ prepared individual who is board certified,” said Kimberly H. Oas, A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., director of advanced practice with St. Joseph Health System. “You will most frequently find them in family practice or urgent or express care, but they also work in specialty areas such as neurology, neonatal care and the emergency department.”

St. Joseph currently employs 37 APCs and plans to expand that number. St. Joseph APCs are active in keeping patients at their highest level of health, working in area nursing homes, coordinating medical home visits geared toward preventing patient readmission and running our heart failure clinic. Often, APCs will work later hours and weekends in order to offer extended access to quality care. They are also able to spend more time with patients to offer education and counseling on the management of chronic diseases.

“Our advanced practice clinicians are available to the patient when the physician can’t be. Our model of care delivery at St. Joseph is collaborative, because the reality is that it takes a team,” said Oas.

EXPANDING CARE IN THE COMMUNITY

The APCs employed by St. Joseph Health System are an integral part of our 22 rural health clinics, and feedback from patients has been consistently positive. Patients know they’re seeing someone who has the physician’s support accessible and available if necessary but who is capable of providing the care they need independently whenever possible. “The more resources we have at hand, the better our patient outcomes,” Kimberly said. “Our APCs don’t replace physicians. They extend the reach and the access of our care teams, so we can meet the needs of our population here in the Brazos Valley.”

“Our advanced practice clinicians are available to the patient when the physician can’t be. Our model of care delivery at St. Joseph is collaborative, because the reality is that it takes a team,” Kimberly H. Oas, A.P.R.N., F.N.P.-B.C., director of advanced practice with St. Joseph.

For more information on the variety of practitioners offered through St. Joseph Health System, visit http://www.st-joseph.org.

 

July 16, 2015

What To Do If Your Child Has ADHD

Your child is struggling in school. According to his teacher, he is hyperactive, has trouble paying attention and can’t control his behavior. What’s going on?

ADHDThose symptoms may be caused by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that affects many children. It is also one that is easily misunderstood and sometimes written off as bad behavior. As a result, children with undiagnosed ADHD may experience academic and social problems that follow them into adolescence and adulthood. But when identified and treated early, ADHD can be managed.

“Once we achieve some control of ADHD symptoms through medication, I work with parents to determine whether the child has issues that we often see together with ADHD, such as depression, anxiety or others,” said Neal Spears, M.D., F.A.A.P., pediatrician with St. Joseph. “Studies show that early treatment of kids with ADHD significantly improves their long-term socioeconomic outcomes and reduces their risk of substance abuse and legal trouble, compared to untreated children with ADHD.”

Know the Signs

If you have noticed that any of the following habits or behaviors interfere with your child’s daily life, it may be time to talk to your pediatrician about the possibility of ADHD:

  • Boredom after spending only a few minutes on a task
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Extreme impatience
  • Forgetfulness
  • Nonstop talking
  • Trouble following instructions

Your doctor will work with you, your child’s teachers and any other recommended consultants to help determine whether your child would benefit from medication or other forms of therapy. Standardized tests are often utilized in making this diagnosis.

Dealing with ADHD

It’s also important to help your child deal with ADHD by sticking to a daily routine, scheduling wake-up time, homework, playtime and bedtime.

“It helps for parents to teach a child with ADHD how to be very organized,” Dr. Spears said. “Part of their routine should be writing down everything they need to do, getting their backpacks ready for the next day before bed time, having a dedicated place in the home for doing homework and completing homework as soon as possible after school.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Neal Spears at St. Joseph Pediatrics, click here.

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