By LeAnn Kridelbaugh, MD, FAAP
Chief Medical Officer, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center
Health awareness and disease prevention focuses on keeping people healthy. Healthcare providers are trained to be one of the first lines of defense against preventing chronic diseases, by supplying us with knowledge to help us understand how to live healthier lives.
Everyone should have annual screenings to assess their health, as well as receive appropriate immunizations that can protect from serious illnesses.
Preventive care helps you and your healthcare provider detect potential chronic illnesses. Health screening recommendations varies by age and family history and may be different for each family member. Preventive care solutions also vary by environmental factors and lifestyle choices.
Recommended screenings include but are not limited to:
• Blood tests
• Blood pressure screening
• Breast cancer screening
• Cervical cancer screening
• Diabetes screening
A full list of recommendations from the U.S Preventive Services Task Force at can be found at USPSTF website www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.
Even if you feel healthy and have no recognizable symptoms, preventive checkups are important. They are performed to establish a relationship with a healthcare provider, identify risk factors for disease and discuss options for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Maintaining good health throughout your lifetime centers on making a few sacrifices.
• Choose healthier foods.
• Incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
• Avoid destructive substances like alcohol and tobacco.
Healthy habits are an “automatic” defense against most illnesses and can increase your chances of living a long, healthy and productive life.
Partner with your provider
Patient-centered care requires working with your healthcare provider to ensure the best health outcomes. Be open with your doctors and remember that you are a part of the medical team.
Taking care of ourselves should be a priority. Making that appointment to visit your provider and mapping out a plan to LIVE HEALTHY is a great way to start 2020.
LeAnn Kridelbaugh is a 22-year board-certified pediatrician, and has built a career focused entirely on serving underserved populations.