Diabetes Education at Think

We sat down with Think Whole Person Healthcare Diabetes Educator, Mary Jo Burkhardt, RN, BSN, CDE, to talk about her approach to educating her patients who live with diabetes. “I’m all about empowering my patients and instilling pride in them. Here they are, really taking control of their life and body, really taking good care of themselves.” Mary Jo uses an empathetic approach – she knows that everyone likes to eat foods that include carbohydrates – it’s natural to prefer those high-calorie foods (pizza, pasta, burgers, etc.). According to Mary Jo, her job is to individualize nutrition plans that fit into the life of her patients. That requires their honesty and her understanding. “I don’t judge my patients. We work together to create a plan that makes sure they can still eat the foods they love while staying healthy and regulating their blood sugars. When my patients follow our plan and we work together, they’re usually the healthiest eaters on the block.”

Mary Jo’s patient base consists mostly of those living with Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 is a completely different disease than Type 1. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which the body can’t produce insulin, and its symptoms typically begin to appear in children. However, Type 2 Diabetes typically occurs in those 45+ who are overweight and perform little physical activity. The body still makes insulin and the symptoms are less noticeable. Over time, though, the body does make, and exercise is highly recommended to help the body continue to make insulin.

Mary Jo is excited to be part of the Think Whole Person Healthcare family, as many of the services needed by those living with diabetes are all here in one place. Think Whole Person Healthcare has podiatrists, because those living with diabetes worry about their feet due to potential complications with the disease. Think Whole Person Healthcare also has behavioral specialists, Care Coordinators, optometrists, Clinical Pharmacists, dentists and hygienists, and primary care doctors – all who are in-the-know of the patient’s health plan and particular needs, and work together to help the patient manage their health.

Watch the videos below to hear right from Mary Jo, the passionate expert about all things diabetes education and management. Need more information? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Mary Jo directly!

 

 

Here’s an additional note from Mary Jo Burkhardt about living life to the fullest during the holiday season while living with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes:

Those living with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes can work their favorite holiday foods into their meal plan. I encourage people to be mindful about what they are eating and to be careful to eat their favorite holiday foods only on the holiday itself – in moderation. I also stress the importance of staying on their food plan as many days a year – it’s within their power to stay as healthy as they can! I talk to my patients about how they can handle what can be many holiday parties and still stay pretty close to being on-target for their carbohydrate intake.

We discuss the importance of making sure they are exercising during this food-filled holiday time to help moderate their blood sugars with the benefits that exercise brings. If their diabetes is not in good control, they need to discuss this with their doctor or provider for a particular plan for handling the holidays.

Follow my tips to ensure that you enjoy every moment of the holidays spent with your friends and family. You can do what you love, no matter what, with our help…because Life is for Living.

 


 

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: An Introduction to Smoking Cessation

Krystle Eckhart, PsyD, HSPBehavior changes usually involve five steps. They include the following:

  • Precontemplation: “I’m not ready to change yet.”
  • Contemplation: “I know that I should change but I’m not sure how.”
  • Preparation: “I have begun making small changes.”
  • Action: “I am ready to change now.”
  • Maintenance: “I have changed.”

Smoking cessation follows these stages, too. Throughout Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Think Whole Person Healthcare Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist Krystle Eckhart, PsyD, HSP, is writing a series of articles that will give you quick-hit information related to each stage.

Before we get into the stages, it’s important to know why we’re talking about this in the first place. What are the benefits to quitting smoking? How quick can I get the benefits?

Health benefits:

  • Broken addiction cycle
  • Better circulation
  • Improved taste and smell
  • More energy
  • More efficient/higher functioning immune system
  • Cleaner teeth and mouth
  • Improved sex life – yes!
  • Lower risk of cancer

The benefits of smoking cessation begin shortly after you smoke your last cigarette, regardless of how long you’ve smoked cigarettes.

Timeline after last cigarette:

  • 20 minutes: Heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Temperature of hands and feet increase to normal.
  • 8 hours: Carbon monoxide levels in blood return to normal. Blood oxygen level increases to normal
  • 24 hours: Chance of heart attack decreases
  • 48 hours: Nerve endings start re-growing therefore ability to smell and taste is enhanced
  • 2 weeks – 3 months: Risk of heart attack drops. Circulation improves and lung function increases up to 30 percent
  • 1 – 9 months: Coughing, sinus congestion, and shortness of breath decrease. Ability to fight lung infection increases. Overall energy levels rise
  • 1 year: Excess risk of heart disease is cut in half
  • 5 years: Stroke risk is that of a person who has never smoked
  • 10 years: Risk of lung cancer is that of a person who has never smoked. Risk of developing other cancers (e.g., mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas) also reduce significantly
  • 15 years: Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a person who has never smoked

Think Whole Person Healthcare’s Krystle Eckhart will be back with three more articles covering the five stages of smoking cessation. Share these articles with your loved ones to spread awareness for Lung Cancer Awareness and the stages of smoking cessation!

 


 

An Introduction to Smoking Cessation – Stages One and Two: Precontemplation and Contemplation

Hello, there! My name is Krystle Eckhart, PsyD, HSP. I’m Think Whole Person Healthcare’s Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist. I’m excited to share with you this series of quick overviews about one of my areas of specialty – smoking cessation. You can learn more about me at the end of this article! First, let’s talk about the five stages of smoking cessation.

With smoking cessation, like most behavior changes, you will likely find yourself going through these stages:

  • Precontemplation: “I’m not ready to quit smoking yet.”
  • Contemplation: “I know that I should quit but I’m not sure how to do it.”
  • Preparation: “I have cut down the number of cigarettes I smoke per day.”
  • Action: “I am ready to quit smoking now.”
  • Maintenance: “I have quit smoking.”

 

In this article, we’re talking about Stages One and Two: Pre-contemplation and Contemplation.

Stage One: Pre-contemplation

During the Precontemplation Stage, it can be helpful to gather smoking cessation resources and information to help gain the motivation to quit. Now is a good time to identify your support network (e.g., those people and resources who encourage you to quit and help support you during the process) and determine your top reasons to change your behavior (e.g., motivated to quit due to impact on health, financial cost, negative impact on work or important relationships, etc.).

We talked about the health benefits of smoking cessation and the health benefits timeline after the last cigarette in part one. Go back to that blog to find fodder for motivation. As stated above, finding these motivations will help you move from Precontemplation to Contemplation.

 

Stage Two: Contemplation

It’s important to continue to gather information about smoking cessation resources to continue to find the motivation to quit. To increase success, it’s also important to develop an understanding of your triggers – the “why” part of smoking. This is a great stepping stone for the “how to stop” part. We can then find healthy alternatives to triggers and use them for proactive coping strategies.

 

Here are some common triggers for smoking:

  • Nicotine cravings
  • Need to handle something/keep hands busy
  • Needing an energy boost
  • Thinking/concentration
  • Feeling down, stressed or angry
  • Boredom
  • Wanting a reward
  • Social situations
  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Driving/riding in a vehicle
  • Reading or watching television
  • Talking on the phone
  • After meals/when you feel too full
  • First thing in the morning

What comes to mind right away as alternatives? Can you identify what kind of things make you feel bored, down, or unfocused? Are there strategies you can think of right away that can help you avoid feelings or situations that make you reach for a cigarette? It can be hard to think of them right away – you have a lifestyle that you like, right? That’s where I come in. We can make a plan that fits into your life.

Stay tuned for the next article about Stage Three: Preparation. Share this article with your loved ones to spread awareness for smoking cessation and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

 

About Me

I am a clinical psychologist by training and I work as a Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) at Think Whole Person Healthcare. That means I work with our Primary Care Providers to help them address concerns about their patients’ habits/behaviors or emotional health and how it affects their overall well-being. Common referrals include diet, physical activity, life transitions, coping with situational stressors, behavioral problems, or adjusting to new diagnosis. If you’d like to see if my expertise can benefit your health, please speak with your Think Whole Person Healthcare primary doctor.

 


 

An Introduction to Smoking Cessation – Stage Three: Preparation

Hello, there! My name is Krystle Eckhart, PsyD, HSP. I’m Think Whole Person Healthcare’s Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist. I’m excited to share with you this series of quick overviews about one of my areas of specialty – smoking cessation. You can learn more about me at the end of this article! First, let’s talk about the five stages of smoking cessation.

With smoking cessation, like most behavior changes, you will likely find yourself going through these stages:

  • Precontemplation: “I’m not ready to quit smoking yet.”
  • Contemplation: “I know that I should quit but I’m not sure how to do it.”
  • Preparation: “I have cut down the number of cigarettes I smoke per day.”
  • Action: “I am ready to quit smoking now.”
  • Maintenance: “I have quit smoking.”

In this article, we’re talking about Stage Three: Preparation. If you missed my previous article about the first two stages of smoking cessation, go back and read it before you continue! (step 1 & 2)

 

Stage Three: Preparation

Quitting smoking “cold turkey” may work for some people, but research suggests that taking steps to gradually reduce cigarette use and engaging in preparation tasks help people be successful with sustained smoking cessation. Remember, everyone has different ways of quitting, so what may work for you might not be the same for someone else. Use the list below as a starting point and remember to talk with your Think Whole Person Healthcare primary doctor for additional information and support. (Need a primary doctor? Become a patient today.)

 

Here are some ideas for how to can prepare for smoking cessation:

  • Set a quit date. Perform the tips of your choice below to prepare yourself for that date.
  • Hold your cigarette in your opposite hand.
  • Switch to less favorable brand of cigarettes.
  • Delay (use another skill or strategy to assist in distraction, such as chewing gum, taking a brief walk, deep breathing, etc.). Gradually increase delay. Remember ­– smoking isn’t the only thing that will relieve the urge to smoke. Patience will, too – the urge WILL pass!
    • 5 minute time out: Each time you have desire to smoke, wait 5 minutes before reaching for cigarette.
    • Postpone first cigarette of the day by one hour.
  • Smoke only the cigarettes you want intentionally — catch yourself before mindlessly smoking cigarette out of habit or boredom or while distracted with television, etc.
  • Refrain from emptying ashtrays (as a reminder for how many you have had).
  • Put cigarettes in an unfamiliar/inconvenient location.
  • Watch yourself smoke in a mirror.
  • Stop buying cigarettes in bulk. Buy only one pack at a time.
  • Make smoking unpleasant (e.g., by yourself, outside, not while talking on phone).
  • Eliminate places where you smoke (e.g., only smoke outside, put cigarettes in trunk of car while driving).
  • Smoke only part of the cigarette.
  • Smoke only on odd or even hours of the day.
  • Smoke one less cigarette each day/identify the cigarettes that are the ‘easiest’ to give up.
  • Avoid high-risk triggers if possible. Practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation techniques or 5 senses grounding instead.
  • Discuss nicotine replacement therapies with your primary doctor.
  • Find support groups (local, over phone, or online).
  • Discard smoking paraphernalia (dispose of lighters, ashtrays, etc.).
  • Clean smoking areas (e.g., wash curtains, air out cushions, detail car upholstery).

That’s about 20 tips to prepare you for Stage Four: Action. Surely, there are at least a few that can work for you! Which tips do you like the best?

Stay tuned for the next and final article covering Stages Four and Five: Action and Maintenance. If you missed my previous article about Stages One and Two, go back and read it now. Share this article with your loved ones to spread awareness for smoking cessation and Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

 

 

About Me

I’m Think Whole Person Healthcare’s Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist. I am a clinical psychologist by training and I work as a Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultant (BHC) at Think Whole Person Healthcare. That means I work with the Think Whole Person Healthcare Primary Care Providers to help them address concerns about their patients’ habits/behaviors or emotional health and how it affects their overall well-being. Common referrals include diet, physical activity, life transitions, coping with situational stressors, behavioral problems, or adjusting to new diagnosis. If you’d like to see if my expertise can benefit your health, please speak with your Think Whole Person Healthcare primary doctor.

 


 

An Introduction to Smoking Cessation – Stages Four and Five: Action and Maintenance

Hello, there! My name is Krystle Eckhart, PsyD, HSP. I’m Think Whole Person Healthcare’s Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist. I’m excited to share with you the final article in my series about smoking cessation. Before we get into specifics on stages four and five, let’s first talk about all five stages of smoking cessation.

With smoking cessation, like most behavior changes, you will likely find yourself going through these stages:

  • Precontemplation: “I’m not ready to quit smoking yet.”
  • Contemplation: “I know that I should quit but I’m not sure how to do it.”
  • Preparation: “I have cut down the number of cigarettes I smoke per day.”
  • Action: “I am ready to quit smoking now.”
  • Maintenance: “I have quit smoking.”

 

In this article, we’re talking about Stages Four and Five: Action and Maintenance. If you missed my previous articles about the other three stages of smoking cessation, make sure you go back and read them before you continue! (Intro, Stages One & Two, Stage Three).

 

Stages Four and Five: Action and Maintenance

When you reach your “stop smoking” date, be prepared for feelings of withdrawal in the first days. Not all people will go through the same withdrawal symptoms or the same intensity of symptoms. For many people, the most intense symptoms will lessen 3-4 days after quitting. Most physical withdrawal symptoms should be gone within 7-10 days. It is important to know what to expect and to develop a plan for ways to cope with these symptoms.

Common symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Anxiety, tension, restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Coughing/dry mouth
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • GI upset (constipation, nausea)
  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling down/sad

Strategies for coping with withdrawal:

  • Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) (e.g., lozenges, gums, patches, Chantix, Wellbutrin, etc.)
  • Visualize surfing the urge waves
  • Delay
  • Distractions
  • Deep breathing/progressive muscle relaxation/5 senses grounding and meditation techniques
  • Drink water!
  • Connect with support person
  • Re-engage in leisure activities or try new hobbies
  • Take walks
  • Physical activity (e.g., weight lifting, stretching, yoga, dance, etc.)
  • Reduce alcohol and/or caffeine
  • Engage in healthy sleep hygiene
  • Take warm baths/shower
  • Eat low-sugar hard candy (to prevent throat dryness)
  • Eat foods higher in fiber (e.g., whole-grains, fruits and vegetables)
  • Brush teeth after eating
  • Smile at yourself in the mirror
  • Find humor
  • Express yourself creatively (e.g., journal, draw, play musical instrument, sing, etc.)
  • Have compassion for yourself if you slip up. Learn from the slip up rather than criticizing yourself. Review motivation list and reach out to support network and/or primary care team for additional resources and support.

 

That’s it! This completes my quick overview of the five stages to smoking cessation. If you missed my previous articles about the other three stages of smoking cessation, make sure you go back and read them! (Intro, Stages One & Two, Stage Three).

 

Please share this article with your loved ones to spread awareness for smoking cessation and Lung Cancer Awareness Month. If you need more assistance and information about smoking cessation, please speak with your Think Whole Person Healthcare primary doctor, or become a patient at Think Whole Person Healthcare today. That way, your Think primary doctor can determine if I’m the right fit for you, or they can refer you to other resources you can use to help you quit smoking. Get out there, exercise, explore, and use those powerful lungs of yours…because Life is for Living!

 

 


 

Mammo Q&A

Here are some tips for the final week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month


A quick Q&A about Mammograms with Jamie Gemar, Think Diagnostic Business Unit Leader

Jamie Gemar, Think Diagnostic Business Unit Leader

 

Q: Have there been any major improvements of mammogram testing in recent years?
A: Mammograms have come a long way in recent years, and now we have digital 3D capabilities, which improve diagnostic quality.

 

Q: When are mammograms most effective?
A: One of the keys for mammography to be effective is early detection. We like to have the opportunity to catch potential breast cancers when it’s small before it’s gotten so big that it’s harder to treat.

Knowing what your risk factors are is important, too. Most women start their mammogram testing at age 40 and have the test yearly, but all of this depends on family history and the like. It’s a good conversation to have with your physician – about what’s appropriate for you.

 

Q: Do patients need mammograms if they have no family history of breast cancer?
A: Just because you don’t have a strong family history doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be screened, especially around age 40, or whatever age your physician feels is right for you. All it takes is one person to begin a family history. Unfortunately, it could be you ­– it’s better to have peace of mind that you’ve taken time out of your busy life to take care of yourself because you’re important and we care about your health.

 

Q: What’s the one thing Think Whole Person Healthcare patients love the most about the primary healthcare clinic?
A: Having so many healthcare services all in one place is probably the biggest benefit to our patients. They can come get their mammogram before their doctor’s appointment and then their doctor usually gets those results within 24 hours, so having it all in one place is makes it much easier for our patients to manage.

 


 

What do you know about mammography testing?

Multi-ethnic group of women, men at breast cancer rallyThere’s no getting around it – women go through a lot. From child birth, pap smears, menstruation, grooming, and we can’t forget…mammograms. Of course, some of these are personal choices – especially because they vary in levels of discomfort. They are all important and sometimes necessary to stay healthy.

If you haven’t gotten a mammogram in a while, you may not know how technological advancements make this test more accurate. That’s great for you because you know it’s worth your time. If you’re 40+ and have been steering clear of your mammogram, it’s time to get back on track.

First, some science. The breast is one of the hardest spots of the body to image through x-rays. Think of all the different densities of breast tissues and fat. The tissue also differs among women of different ages – it can be dense or fatty. Because of this, it’s been historically hard to get a high contrast image of the different layers of the breast anatomy.

 

This test’s major improvements deal with that. Here’s a quick, very simplified, 50-year history of mammography.

THE 60s and 70s

In the 60s, radiologists screened for breast cancer with direct exposure film, which couldn’t effectively “cut through” the breast tissue to check for tumors. It was essentially getting a chest x-ray. Direct exposure film also meant higher radiation exposure.

THE 80s and 90s

Screen-film mammography came to the forefront as the gold standard of mammography in the 80s and 90s. It became easier to see contrasts in tissue and identify abnormalities, but still wasn’t “quite there.”

CONGRESS GOT INVOLED

The mammography test continued to get better as more teams dedicated to mammography radiation formed. In the 90s, Congress passed the Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, which had nation-wide implications. This resulted in higher-quality imaging and interpretations of the imaging.

THE 2000s

In the 2000s came the introduction of digital mammography. Because of this evolution, fewer and shorter exposures are needed. This makes the process safer with less radiation exposure, and more comfortable for the patient. Additionally, it is easier to see the contrast in digital imaging vs. film imaging.

THE 2010s

Mammography testing continues to become more refined, especially with the latest introduction of 3D Tomosynthesis Mammography. Instead of flat imaging, 3D Mammography allows for an exact look into the layers of breast tissue, decreasing the number of false-positives and false-negatives.

 

Some Good News – and More Reason to Have Your Mammogram

Mortalities from breast cancer continue to decline. There are many reasons for this, including more awareness and research funding from sources like the Komen Race for the Cure, and nation-wide standards set in place for imaging and interpretation. The one we’re focusing on in this article is early detection, caused by the improvements of mammography imaging. You can see in the graph below from the National Center for Health Statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, that in the 90s, when strides were made, the mortality rate from breast cancer began its decline.

Cancer Death Rates Graph

When you get your mammogram test at Think Whole Person Healthcare, you get a huge benefit. Think Whole Person Healthcare offers results within 24 hours.* This is beneficial because it eliminates wait and worry – you can discuss the results of your mammogram with your Think Whole Person Healthcare primary doctor  in a timely manner. It’s the holistic, patient-centered  way to practice healthcare.

 

Plus, when you get your mammogram at Think Whole Person Healthcare this month, you’re automatically entered into a drawing to win a Breast Cancer Awareness gift basket or gift card for you and/or to share with a friend affected by breast cancer. It’s an extra perk and incentive to get the test. We’re here to help you live life to the fullest. After all, Life Is For Living.

 

*Note: Radiologists can only give you 24-hour turn-around when they have access to your previous mammograms so they can give you the most accurate interpretation your results.

The Interconnectivity of Your Mind and Body

Your mind and body go hand-in-hand. Your physical health has an impact on your mental health, and vice versa. People with mental health problems, such as depression, can have worse physical health and a worse perception of their own health versus someone without mental health problems. We want to help you to break that cycle, or if possible, prevent it from beginning.  Even if you don’t currently suffer from a mental illness, these tips can help you stay on top of your mental health while maintaining physical health!

 

Tip #1:

Exercise causes your body to release chemicals called endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body and diminish the perception of pain. They also help with an increase of self-confidence. Some great forms of moderate exercise are biking, gardening, dancing, swimming, and yoga. Even a quick walk or jog around the neighborhood will help!

Tip #2:

Improve your odds for a better sleep. One way to do this is to turn off all electronics an hour before you go to sleep. Feel free to read or do any other relaxing activity in your time before bed, as long as it doesn’t involve blue light, which electronics emit and confuse your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up! It can also be helpful to avoid doing work or anything stressful in bed, so that your bed is only associated with relaxation.

Tip #3:

Improving your diet can help your mental health tremendously. It will also fuel you properly for exercise and sleep. When in doubt, eat foods with antioxidants such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots for Beta-carotene, and blueberries, kiwi, and oranges for vitamin C. Increasing protein can also help with alertness – eat turkey, fish, and nuts. For specialized diet advice, see our Think Dietician Michelle Ring. She’s accepting new patients!

 

These tips may seem simple, but fueling your body with sleep and good food, and then getting in a daily exercise can greatly improve your mental state.

Still not convinced? Did you know your heart has up to 40,000 neurons located around the right ventricle? These neurons decide how you feel, too, and they send signals to your brain. So, your heart has a brain of its own! Our physical and mental states are so connected that it can be difficult to perceive your own health, which is why we recommend regular checkups with your primary care doctor. You can also schedule an appointment at your convenience with one of our mental health professionals.


 

Foot Health

Your feet are what support you in everything you do – running, playing sports, standing on the job, simply walking from one place to the next – and they need a little support from you, too. There are some easy things you can do to make sure your feet are in the best shape possible, and to avoid foot pain. We want you to stay on your feet! Here’s how:

Tip #1:

Make sure your running shoes and everyday shoes are breathable and have good arch support. Every foot is different, and you might need a certain fit to be completely comfortable. Don’t rest until the shoe fits – your feet will thank you!

Tip #2:

Try not to walk around community spaces barefoot, and don’t be afraid to show your feet a bit of extra love in the shower by cleaning them thoroughly. Infections such as athletes foot are easily avoided with breathable socks and shoes, and some extra washing and drying after a workout.

Tip #3:

If you have diabetes, you are more prone to sores and other uncomfortable foot problems. To avoid this, we recommend regular checkups. Medicare pays for two diabetic foot exams a year by a Podiatrist. We have two of the best podiatrists in Omaha on our team who do thorough exams that involve vascular and neurological testing. They are accepting new patients now! In the meantime, give your feet the occasional break and prop them up on a pillow for maximum blood flow and comfort.

Tip #4:

If you do experience foot pain or problems, be sure to see your doctor to identify the problem and avoid its progression. Your doctor may recommend inserts or insoles for your shoes, depending on the problem. We provide same-day access to your Primary Physician, so you won’t miss a beat!

 

As summer draws to an end, don’t forget to give your feet a little extra loving. Keeping your feet clean and healthy will help you to do the things you love, which is what we want, because Life is for Living.

 

Bonus Tip: For those smelly shoes, this one is more about keeping your nose happy! If you’ve got a pair of shoes that are stinking up a room, put them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer for the night.

 

Meet our Podiatrists: Brad Copple, DPM and Reanen Michael, DPM


 

Men’s Health Month

This June, we are celebrating Men’s Health Month. Instead of talking about what can go wrong for men – diseases, chronic conditions, and more – we’d like to talk about what can go right, VERY right – with regular and preventative care, that is!

 

Tip #1: Stay active.

Simply going on a walk for 20-30 minutes does a lot of good for your mind and body. Being outside in the fresh air and the bright sun gives you a chance to clear your head and soak up that vitamin D that makes you feel so refreshed, productive and good about yourself. And get brownie points – take the dog with you, too! Exercising the heart helps you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and other things that prevent you from living your life to the fullest.

 

Tip #2: Intuitive eating – it’s not all or nothing.

Eat healthy, yummy foods you love. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re satisfied. Give into your cravings with moderation. Denying your cravings and foods you love makes it more likely that you’ll binge on them down the road. Our registered dietitian and diabetes educator, Michelle Ring, is an expert at creating nutrition plans around your lifestyle and tastes. She’s accepting new patients, too! Learn more and give her a call.

 

Tip #3: Try to enjoy just the good things in life.

Smoking, binge drinking, and too much stress aren’t necessarily the best things in life. What are some other healthy options you can enjoy? If you need to, seek help from your doctor for ways to quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

Additionally, too much stress wears on the mind and body, and can also become a reason people turn to alcohol, tobacco and/or other substances. It also seems as though men don’t feel comfortable sharing their feelings. Let us encourage you to talk about how you’re feeling. Seek help if you think you need it. The truth is – no one can get through the ups and downs of life on their own. We have a great team of expert mental health professionals – from mental health therapists to a psychiatrist and more. Learn more about our Mental Health team.

 

Tip #4: Learn to love the doctor.

When you visit your Think primary doctor regularly, you develop peace of mind knowing that you’re staying your healthiest. Your Think doctor and their team of nurses, care coordinators, clinical pharmacists and specialists get to know you personally – like things you like to do, your status and health goals and more. With this complete knowledge of you, they help you maintain your health in a personal, unique way – honoring you as a whole person and helping you live your life to the fullest. Need a doctor and want the convenience of coordinated care and a one-stop-healthcare-shop? Learn more about becoming a patient at Think.

 

Live your life to the fullest by doing the things you love. We’re here to support you every step of the way. And to help you stay out of the hospital, out of the ER and out there living life. After all, Life is for Living! Happy Men’s Health Month and keep loving life!

 


 

Forget Waiting. Access Care on YOUR Time.

Think about it – why are you only able to see your doctor when it’s convenient for them? Shouldn’t you be able to see your doctor when it’s convenient for you? The answer is yes.

At Think Whole Person Healthcare, we know how important it is to see your doctor exactly when you need to – that’s why we guarantee same-day access to someone on your care team. Plus, Think’s same-day test results make it possible for doctors to diagnose and prescribe medications during your appointment. You can pick up your medications on the way out at our on-site pharmacy. It’s that easy – schedule an appointment, see your doctor and get any necessary prescriptions – all in one visit that day.

 

What if my primary care doctor isn’t available?

No problem! All our doctors and clinical teams use the same electronic health record – so if your primary care doctor is unavailable for whatever reason, another recommended provider on your team will happily see you with full access to your records. It’s seamless. After your appointment, they’ll ensure your primary care doctor receives all the details of the visit.

 

What if I’m new to Think Whole Person Healthcare?

As a new patient we can get you in to see a doctor on the same day you apply. Our staff will match you with a primary care doctor that best fits you. All you need to do is call our dedicated New Patient Line at (402) 506-9049, and a member of our scheduling team will ensure you see someone that day. If you are calling outside of normal business hours, an appointment will be scheduled the following day. If it’s a time-sensitive issue, you can visit thinkquick, our walk-in urgent care clinic, on Level 2. See opening hours below.

 

What About Weekends?

thinkquick is open seven days a week, from 7am to 8pm Monday thru Friday, and 9am to 5pm on weekends. Current and new patients are all welcome here. If you’re an existing patient, the providers at thinkquick will have full access to all your medical records, making sure you receive the best care possible.

(thinkquick is not an Emergency RoomIf you have severe or life-threatening conditions, call 911 or go to an emergency room.)

 

To take advantage of same-day access at Think Whole Person Healthcare, become a new patient today. Call our new patient line, available 24/7, at (402) 506-9049, or fill out a new patient form online.


 

The Importance of Primary Care

Visiting Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) First and Often

To understand what primary care is, we need talk terminology first. There are three types of Primary Care Physicians (PCP); two of them apply to you, but we’ll go through all three for fun.

  • Pediatrician – Cares for children.
  • Internal Medicine – Cares for adults.
  • Family Practitioner – Cares for both.

Think has internists and family physicians. Each Primary Care Physician has an entire team of nurses and pharmacists helping you manage your whole health. Are you smarter than you were 5-7 seconds ago? Maybe yes, maybe no. Keep reading, and you’ll surely be smarter about your healthcare than you were before.

 

Let’s say you notice a sharp pain in your back, or that chronic pain in your foot is acting up again. Your Primary Care Physician is your first point of contact on your road to wellness.

“Why?”

Well, there are actually tons of reasons why you need to go to your PCP first and often.

Here are two important reasons you should use your PCP to manage your whole health:

1. Going to your PCP before a specialist increases communication and collaboration.

It’s obvious that communication is essential to maintain your whole health. You wouldn’t want to go to a cardiologist first, who has no comprehensive, centralized documentation of your health history and medications. What if you can’t remember your mediation list and they prescribe you conflicting medications?

Think of your Primary Care Physician the guardian of your healthcare plan. At Think, they, along with the rest of your care management team, have access to your Electronic Health Record (EHR), accessible to all who treat you within the walls of Think.

With the touch of a button, your PCP can see all your medical history, medications, notes, and more. Plus, they can consult with their pharmacist (yes, there is one Clinical Pharmacist assigned to each Think PCP!). All of this makes it way more likely your healthcare decisions are informed and effective – and that you’re getting the absolute best, most affordable medication combinations possible, vs. starting the process with a specialist.

Your PCP is specialized and highly trained in adult healthcare, and they can do many of the exams that a specialist can.

If, in the case your PCP thinks you need a specialist during your visit, they’ll recommend the best one for you based on their knowledge of who you are. What’s great about this process is that know your PCP is aware and communicating with your specialist. Learn more about Think Specialists.

✅ Yes: Going to your PCP before a specialist increases communication and collaboration.

 

2. Your life is for living – so protect your health with regular visits to your PCP.

Life is meant to be spent at your sister’s birthday party, splurging on that watch you really wanted, reading a great book in your favorite chair in your living room, and going out to dinner with your friends.

We like to see you when you’re well – and keep you that way! When you visit your PCP regularly, the chances of you maintaining the lifestyle you want increase significantly.

Sure, visiting your PCP regularly may be more money now. It’s proven that regular, preventative check-ups with your PCP equate to significantly less spent in the future and less suffering during your life.

Because of the overseer role your PCP and their team play in your whole health, regular visits to your PCP vs. sporadic visits to specialists prevents miscommunications in medication and treatments that lead to those expensive treatments and ER visits down the road.

❗▶ Fact: One of the top reasons for hospitalization is medication error. Check out Think Pharmacy’s 5-step, ThinkSync Medication Plan.

✅ Did we make our point? We think so: Your life is for living – so protect your health with regular visits to your PCP.

 

These two reasons to let your PCP manage your whole health are all the more important when you have more than one chronic condition, which many Think patients do.

Care management of chronic conditions is something we specialize in. At Think, we’ve got nurses, called Care Coordinators, who create, communicate and help execute your personalized care plan – along with a team that includes your Primary Care Physician, their nurses and pharmacist.

To sum it up, avoiding medical error and being the healthiest you can be are both reasons why you should see your Primary Care Physician first and often.

 

If you feel like you’re for sure smarter at this point, consider becoming a patient at Think!