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Wellness visits help patient, doctor work together on a personal health plan

Wellness visits can provide numerous patient benefits, according to Jeffrey Galles, D.O., chief medical officer of Utica Park Clinic.

“The definition of a wellness visit is unique to each patient,” Galles said. “We want to guide our patient’s care and optimize their health down the road.”

Wellness visits help primary care providers target their care based on specific factors such as a patient’s lifestyle, age, sex and family history.

Galles listed some of the most important benefits for a wellness visit.

Why a wellness visit?

Galles said wellness visits are invaluable to patients for many reasons:

Establishing a relationship with a primary care provider

Wellness visits help providers gain more insight into a patient and their health history. Visits are also a good time for the patient to ask questions about various health-related topics and get professional feedback.

Update your medical history

Life events can have a significant impact on a patient’s mental and physical health. A wellness visit enables a provider to review all of your experiences with other providers, review your medications and assist with coordinating your care in the future.

Identifying habits

Patients develop habits – healthy or unhealthy - that can have long-term impacts. Wellness visits allow a provider to encourage those healthy habits to continue and redirect unhealthy habits before they become larger problems.

Family health history

A patient with a family history of certain chronic conditions, such as diabetes, or particular cancers may be at higher risk to these diagnoses. Wellness visits with a provider help the patient be proactive in hopes of minimizing their risk.

Routine vaccinations and screenings

Primary care providers help patients stay updated on their vaccinations, an important preventive measure in a patient’s health journey. Screening for certain cancers can be especially vital, depending on the patient’s family history and risk level.

Biggest benefit of a wellness visit?

Galles said one of the most important reasons for a wellness visit is to help patients gain important insight and become better advocates in their own health journey.

“Identifying unhealthy habits, such as substance abuse, dietary issues, sleep issues or depression, it’s really about planting the seed of living a healthier life that is probably the biggest benefit of a wellness visit,” he said. “We also try to educate people to manage their chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, and emphasize the importance of taking medications and exercising. We educate about chronic conditions. The wellness visit gives them the opportunity to have those conversations.”

Galles added, “Patients want a personal health plan. They want to leave the visit knowing here are the things I really want to do between now and my next appointment. Having a better understanding of what is going to keep them healthy is probably the most important part of a wellness visit.”

Where do I go for a visit?

Galles said summertime is ideal for a wellness visit. To schedule your appointment, click here or call 918-579-3627.