Health and Wellness
Wellness programs and immunizations are essential to your health and quality of life, throughout the entire span of your lifetime.
At Westchester Health, we also believe that a personal relationship with your physician helps you value and focus on your physical well-being—from following the right nutritional program to maintaining physical fitness.
Regardless of how you approach your wellness, we encourage each of our patients to have a periodic physical examination with their physician or healthcare provider. While the frequency of exams may vary based on your age and health status, these visits are very important for your present well-being and for preventing future health issues. They also serve as regular check-ins to ensure your wellness program is working for you.
Screening for disease, administering immunizations, treating acute and chronic conditions and managing patients with multiple, complex health problems are just some of the ways in which internists play a vital role in their patients’ health and wellness. For more details, including the CDC’s Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults:
Our highly experienced specialists (cardiologists, dermatologists, pulmonologists, etc.) not only focus on the diagnosis and treatment of already-occurring conditions but also on preventative care so that hopefully serious health issues can be avoided before they develop. To learn more about specific health screenings, tests and treatments performed by our specialists:
The importance of wellness exams
At Westchester Health, we strongly advise getting an annual physical, no matter your age or health condition, for several important reasons. A yearly visit with your physician begins a lifelong relationship built around you and your particular healthcare needs. Research bears this out: People get better medical care when they and their doctor know each other well, in sickness and in health.
Annual physicals are also important benchmarks that allow your doctor to keep track of your health (mental and physical), growth and development, weight gain or loss, fitness, risk factors, chronic conditions and a host of other concerns.
As you get older, wellness visits become even more essential. Medicare now covers wellness visits for people over 65, encouraging them and their physician to support a health-conscious, active lifestyle as they age.
If you’re 55 and above, regular exams are even more important
As you reach the 55-year-old threshold, it’s important for you to see your physician every year. As people grow older, the risk of chronic illnesses increases. Managing your condition, renewing your medications and following your health management guidelines are all essential for you to achieve the best outcome, and your physician’s guidance in these areas is very important.
Annual doctor visits are also excellent opportunities for you to discuss with your physician any changes in your lifestyle, energy levels, emotional state, diet, exercise and preventive strategies. Plus, annual screenings help ensure that any issues are caught early and treated in a timely manner.
What to expect at your annual physical
"What does my annual physical include?" is a fundamental question you should ask your physician before your annual exam. The specific tests and screenings are unique to each individual depending on their age, gender, weight, level of activity, medical history, chronic conditions and risk factors, but in general, annual physicals include:
- Vital signs: Weight, height, blood pressure, blood tests to determine cholesterol and blood sugar levels, thyroid and liver function, lung function and other elements essential to your body’s functions.
- Heart function: Your heart rate will be checked and an EKG may be administered.
- Cancer screening: Colorectal cancer screenings should begin at age 50, and earlier if you have a family history or exhibit risk factors. Women should be screened for breast cancer and gynecological cancers starting at age 40. Men should be screened for prostate cancer starting at age 50.
- Other screenings: Your doctor may order additional screenings (bone density test for osteoporosis, skin exam for skin cancer, eye exam for cataracts and glaucoma) and may refer you to specialists to perform them.
- Lifestyle considerations: You and your physician may discuss lifestyle factors that are important to your health and well-being, as well as those that are detrimental to your health. These may include drug and alcohol use, smoking, diet, physical activity, mental health, sexual health, stress, immunizations and any other aspects of your life that influence your health.
Have you scheduled your wellness visit yet?
Your annual wellness visit is a critical component in taking responsibility for your and your children’s health and quality of life. It also strengthens the physician-patient relationship which is fundamental to your health and well-being, enabling us to provide the very best care so you and your family can stay healthy and active.
At Westchester Health, we strongly believe in the importance of immunizations and fully advise them for all of our patients, from infants to seniors. Immunizations are safe, do not cause autism, save millions of lives and greatly reduce the spread of disease.
Immunizations do not worsen chronic health conditions. Actually, for those with diabetes and chronic lung disease, immunizations often lower hospitalizations. To learn more about the importance of immunizations, the CDC has extensive research supporting the need for vaccinations in adults with chronic illnesses.
Even though adult immunizations have eliminated many diseases, it’s still vital that adults (especially seniors) get immunized regularly. Due to weakened immune systems, chronic health conditions and the effects of age, older adults can be still vulnerable to many serious but preventable diseases such as the flu, pertussis and shingles. To know which vaccines are right for you, it’s best to speak with your physician. He/she will make recommendations based on your age, medical history, lifestyle, travel and occupation, and will administer the proper vaccines and doses.
Why you should get immunized regularly
- If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease or asthma, or have a weakened immune system, you are more likely to develop complications from diseases.
- If you are not immunized, you can more easily pass on a serious illness, such as influenza or whooping cough, to a family member, friend or co-worker.
- Vaccines help you stay healthy and active. Why miss important events in your life when an immunization could keep you healthy?
- There is significant peace of mind in knowing that you are protecting your health and the health of those you love.
CDC Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults
For a comprehensive schedule of the CDC-recommended immunizations, vaccines and dosages which adults should receive, click here.
Comprehensive care coordination
As part of our personalized approach to our patients’ health and well-being, we assign a care manager to oversee the care of patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, COPD, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia and cancer.
This healthcare professional works closely with your primary care provider and other specialists to implement a total treatment plan customized for your specific condition in order to achieve the best possible outcome. In addition, your care manager helps you better understand your condition and your doctor’s personalized care plan for you.
Care manager teams include nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists and other essential staff. Working collaboratively with each other, these specialists assess your particular needs, educate you on how to care for yourself properly and work closely with your healthcare providers to ensure the best outcome for you. We also provide in-person and by telephone care management for patients at physician practices, in the community and after hospital discharge. Our care coordinators are available Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, at no charge to you.
Westchester Health is your Medical Home
A Medical Home is not a building, a house or a hospital. Rather, it’s an approach to providing continuous, comprehensive primary medical care that is accessible, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective.
In each of our patient-centered, team-based Medical Home offices, a primary care physician works in partnership with the patient and his/her family to make sure all of the patient’s medical and non-medical needs are met, with the goal of achieving maximum health outcomes for each patient, from infants to older adults.
At Westchester Health, we are very proud that we have been recognized by the NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) as a Level III Patient-Centered Medical Home —the highest accreditation possible—for demonstrating better patient experience, better health and lower per capita cost.
A team of professionals dedicated to helping you stay healthy
As you build a relationship with our Westchester Health healthcare teams, you’ll experience the personalized attention of our staff, the caring and compassion of our physicians, and the ability to access your care providers whenever and wherever you need us. From all of us at Westchester Health, we thank you for the privilege of taking care of you and your family.