February 26, 2013

Words from the Experts on Medical Homes

“Recent studies have found a link between diabetes and depression. This doesn’t mean that if you have diabetes, you also have depression,” says Ms. Vah. ”But it’s important to understand that after a diagnostic test confirming that you or a family member have diabetes, there will be many changes in your life.

Managing diabetes can be stressful: you have to learn about the disease, control your glucose level, and constantly monitor what you eat at home and when you’re out. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, restless, resentful, have trouble sleeping, or you don’t have energy to do what you enjoy, your primary healthcare provider can help!”

Elizabeth Vah, LMSW, Behavioral Health Consultant, Austin Travis County Integral Care. Vah collaborates with CommUnity Care at William Cannon and ATCIC, where she helps patients discuss anxiety, depression and problems related to family crisis.

“In Austin, 40% of Hispanics suffer from the terrible disesase diabetes, compared to 20% of the general population.” says Dr. Stephen Pont. “It’s clear that obesity has become an epidemic in our city, particularly in our Hispanic communities.

Visiting your primary health-care provider regularly will help you develop healthy eating and exercise habits. It will also help you catch early signs of diabetes, so you can prevent this disease from taking over your life.”

Dr. Stephen Pont is a physician at the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas (Seton Family of Hospitals) and is medical director for AISD’s Student Health Services.

February 19, 2013

Finding a Medical Home When You Don't Have Insurance

Ingrid hadn’t been to a doctor in 10 years, and Saíd hadn’t been in 13 years – because neither of them had health insurance and didn’t know their options. Ingrid wound up at the hospital due to inflammation of the heart.

Ingrid finally learned about her options at a presentation given at her son’s school. She received a phone number to call and apply for medical assistance. When Ingrid went to the doctor, she discovered she had three serious health problems that could have been prevented.

When Saíd went to see the doctor, they recommended that he do tests for cholesterol and diabetes. Now he and his wife are taking the proper precautions to catch signs the signs early and prevent further illnesses. Ingrid says, “My goal is to follow my doctor’s plans and recommenda- tions, eat healthy, and participate with my kids in getting exercise.”

Watch their videos (in Spanish with English subtitles)!

February 12, 2013

Dealing with Diabetes and Finding a Medical Home

“I have been diabetic for 10 years. It’s taken me a long time to understand the seriousness of my disease, because of lack of access to a medical home. I decided to get help because I was sleep- ing all the time, I had no energy, and I couldn’t get out of bed...I was just sick and very weak. But I didn’t understand why.  
Now I’m a patient at a clinic that provides a holistic approach to health. There’s a nutritionist who explains how important it is to understand the foods I eat and cook for my family. It’s important to understand why I’m taking the medication and what it does for me. And they also help me understand the physical part: getting enough exercise.”
—Ofelia in Dove Springs

Watch the video!

February 5, 2013

A Medical Home Helps You Prevent Illness and Live Healthier

“People feel a sense of security by being cared for by the same doctor. They feel that the doctor has more control of their health treatment. It’s also easy for the whole family to be seen by the doctor in the same appointment. That saves time and money.” 

— Maria Isabel, Community Health Worker and Patient at CommUnityCare 

What does it mean to have medical home? It means having a good relationship between you and your family, and your primary health-care provider — the medical expert you go to see not just when you are sick, but the person you also visit for regular check-ups and physical exams, who can teach you habits and tips for having a healthy lifestyle.

When you develop a trusting relationship with your health-care provider, you can work together to prevent chronic disease and illness such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart problems, and respiratory problems.

A medical home provides primary care that includes:
  • Preventive care (to keep you from getting sick) 
  • Acute care (in case you get sick) 
  • Coordination of that care with your health in mind 
  • Active network with specialists and other providers

A medical home is rewarding for health-care providers because they can offer consistent, continuous, compassionate, culturally effective, and complete quality care to their patients. Also, patients and their families can rest assured their needs will be met by someone they know and trust. It’s about preventing illness and disease and staying healthy!

Resources in the Dove Springs area of Austin, Texas:

CommUnityCare William Cannon Family Practice and Walk-In Care
6801 IH35 South, Austin, TX 78744
Phone: (512) 978-9960

Medical Access Program (MAP)
Phone: (512) 978-8130

Texas Medicaid
Phone: (855) 827-3747

CHIP / Children’s Medicaid
Phone: (877) 543-7669