Web Q&A: Building Health and Treating Disease
When we think of our health, often it is the challenges we face that come to mind. From common injuries to complex diseases, too often we’ve focused only on treating our problems.
The good news? Managing our health and healthcare is changing today, for the better. We are putting more time and resources into preventing health problems. Prevention supports better health and healthcare—and also saves money.
We asked Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth Senior Vice President of System Development, James Fanale, MD, how prevention keeps us well as we age, and at any age.
Q: What preventive measures will help me stay well?
We know we should stay in shape and eat well. I also encourage active social engagement. Mental and physical exercise is critical. Reading, doing puzzles, watching movies—anything that works your mind keeps you sharp and helps create social connections. Physical exercise helps control diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions and helps you bounce back after a virus or injury. You can bike, jog, walk, or do leg lifts in a chair. Your doctor can help with ideas.
Q: How can I help my family members stay healthy?
Participate. Walk together, cook together. Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth has been actively involved in Healthy Plymouth, an initiative where we work with other community leaders and agencies to build, from the ground up, a community that supports wellness. Our community helps all of us live healthier lives by making healthy choices convenient: markets and farmers markets make healthy food accessible; modifying streets and trails makes bike and pedestrian travel safe, practical and fun. In Plymouth, prevention is woven into everything from policy to programs. We all need to develop good habits, and we can help each other.
Q: What does a focus on prevention do to my healthcare?
I can share an example: Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth participates in the Jordan Accountable Care Organization (Jordan ACO), a group of more than 100 physicians who coordinate healthcare for residents of Plymouth and Barnstable counties. The Jordan ACO carefully coordinates care to help make sure patients receive the best, most appropriate care from the right provider at the right time. We try to identify and address problems early, before hospital care becomes necessary. And we work with Medicare to give higher quality care while reducing growth in expenses. The goal is coordinating the care to produce better outcomes and lower costs.
Healthcare today is not just putting effort into healing you when you are sick; that’s important, but it is also important to do all we can to keep you well in the first place. In the long run, that’s better for you and that’s better for the whole system, because it is also cost effective. Prevention is not only the right thing to do— it works.
Hear from the experts: Watch the Jordan Community ACO TV show on PAC-TV with hosts Deb Zona, RN, and Dr. James Fanale on June 24 from 6:00-6:30 pm to learn more about managing your health. Have questions? Call during the PAC-TV show at 508-830-3971.