Regular check-ups for kids and adults can ward off problems before they start
The key to staying healthy is getting a feel for what’s going on with your body before significant symptoms take hold.
Prevention and a focus on a patient’s overall health are staples of Patient-Centered Medical Home practices. Two primary care offices now on the Baptist Clay Medical Campus —
Orange Park Pediatrics and Baptist Primary Care Fleming Island — have earned this prestigious national recognition and stress the importance of regular check-ups.
With the opening the Baptist Clay office, the Behees have saved about 15 minutes each way – making it very convenient for those same-day trips to treat an ear infection or a bug that’s running through the house.
Dr. Gehret said he was initially seeing families he’d already been seeing at another office, but are now coming to Baptist Clay because it’s closer to their home in Fleming Island or Green Cove Springs. Others are brand-new patients drawn to the office because of its location.
“The first thing you hear when you walk in the room is, ‘It’s great to have you here,’” Dr. Gehret said.
Dale Boyd, MD, moved his family practice onto the Baptist Clay campus and expanded to add Dian Trent, ARNP, offering another primary care option for families.
Dr. Boyd echoes Dr. Gerhet’s thoughts on regular visits, but for a different reason.
While most pediatric appointments focus on making sure progress is made, many adult appointments are checking to see that minor issues aren’t going unchecked to potentially progress in larger problems.
The frequency of doctor’s visits is really an individual question, based on a person’s age and overall health, Dr. Boyd said. For someone who’s healthy and in their 20s or in children, especially those under age 5, the visits are tied to immunizations. Richard Gehret, MD, with Orange Park Pediatrics said immunizations are critical for children and urged parents to stay on top of their child’s shot schedule to make sure he or she is protected.
The two other main points pediatricians will look at are the child’s growth pattern and development milestones — such as when a child first rolls over or when he or she begins to talk.
“Those are two areas where we may see some red flags and that could be the first sign there’s a problem,” said Dr. Gehret, one of seven pediatricians in the office that recently expanded to Baptist Clay and also has two offices in Orange Park and Argyle Forest.
Stephanie Behee had been hauling her growing family from south of Green Cove Springs to the Smith Street, just to see Dr. Gehret for the past 13 years. Even though she tries to group the appointments as best she can, with eight children – six of whom are still young enough to see a pediatrician — she’s still making at least a dozen trips a year to the doctor.