Getting Connected for Family Health Care [BLOG]
by Amy Bott
Amy Bott is a BSN RN working with the Wheeling Hospital Perinatal Transition Program and IMPACT WV.
You are the captain of your family “team”, but it’s important to find other key “players” to help reach your family’s health and wellness goals. The first step is finding a Primary Care Physician that you can count on. PCP’s provide preventative care, like wellness checks, screenings and immunizations and can also diagnose and manage common chronic conditions. They are the gatekeepers of your family’s health information and can guide you in the right direction if specialty care is needed.
If ever specialty care is needed, behavioral health for example, make sure to sign a release of information in order for your PCP to be made aware of the treatment received. It makes it much more difficult for a doctor to treat a patient if they are not aware of that patient’s entire health story. It’s important to create a team that communicates!
Speaking of communicating, when interacting with any health care provider, remember that you have the right to be an informed participant. Who knows your family better than you? No one. You are your family’s best advocate, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
During healthcare related discussions, it can be helpful to request information be provided both verbally and in writing, so you can review it later. Ask questions. It can be helpful to write down questions that you have ahead of time, so you end the conversation feeling confident that you’ve received the information that you need. Keep a list of your family’s medications, allergies and chronic illnesses with you always.
Your insurance company may be an untapped resource to support your family’s healthy lifestyle goals. Many insurance companies have incentive programs that reward you for healthy habits you already have, things like completing well checkups for your kids, getting a flu shot or attending OB/GYN appointments during your pregnancy are just a few examples of healthy practices for which you can get rewarded. Just contact your insurance company to find out what sort of incentive programs they offer.
The Impact WV program has Patient Navigators that are available to assist you in getting connected with any of the resources that you may need to make positive changes or support the healthy habits you already practice.
You are the champion of your family’s health and your choices impact the health of your family. Women who stop smoking often encourage and support their spouse’s smoking cessation, women who make healthy changes to their diets, prepare healthy meals for their families and so on. So remember, each of those positive choices you make have healthy impacts on your family.
One last thing, but a most important thing, always take time to take good care of yourself! It’s so easy to get caught up in providing care for all those around you that you make yourself last on the list. You set a great example by treating yourself well…Healthy moms support healthy families!!!
Sign up for a Home Visiting Program! These programs are so helpful to new moms! They can help get you things that you need and teach you tricks on being a new mom and raising your baby. These programs will come right to your home and don’t worry, they do not judge you about ANYTHING and are just there for support! Click here to sign up
Being a new mom is much easier, when you have a group of other new moms who you can reach out to with questions and for support!
You are not alone!
Did you know that there is a Facebook group for Mothers on MAT?