HCN News & Notes

Baystate Physician Encourages Regular Primary-care Visits

SPRINGFIELD — The new year is a good time to make an appointment for an annual exam and include your physician in your health goals for the year, said Dr. Kathryn Jobbins of Baystate Medical Practices.

“Preventive medicine is a key component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle regardless of the time of year. Developing an ongoing relationship with your healthcare provider, who knows you and your medical history, leads to a better overall outcome and lower costs,” she said. “Many people, especially those in good health, often believe they don’t need a primary-care provider. However, the relationship you build with your primary-care provider now ensures that you will have a medical professional who is familiar with your medical history later, when problems do come up.”

Your primary-care provider will partner with you to help you lead a healthier life through regular checkups, proper diet, exercise, and medical advice. He or she will work with you to manage any chronic medical conditions and address small health issues before they become large ones.

Among the services your primary care provider can offer are evaluation and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses, annual well checkups, disease prevention, immunizations, health maintenance, patient education, preventative medicine, and reoperative consultation.

With the new year now in full swing, many health goals get put aside as the month of January passes, Jobbins said. “While weight loss, health screenings, and stress reduction are among some of the best ways to achieve and maintain better health, creating a plan that is manageable is the key to success. I encourage my patients to look at the new year as a time to set small, attainable goals that they can maintain throughout the year, leading to long-term success and better health.”

That’s where visiting a primary-care physician can help, she added. “Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or reduce stress, your healthcare provider can suggest additional resources such as support groups, reading material, or, if appropriate, medications or aids that can help. Getting advice from your primary-care provider and support from friends and family is a great way to keep your new year’s health resolutions going all year long.”