Adventist Health Castle | Windward Health | Spring 2019

BY MELE POCHEREVA Adventist Health Castle’s network of primary care providers and services is growing as we strive to keep pace with the need for convenient, high-quality health care in Windward O‘ahu. With nine board-certified primary care physicians now providing comprehensive services at AH Castle’s five primary care clinics in Kailua, Kaneohe and Laie, we welcome new patients of all ages. Our providers accept most types of health insurance, including Quest and Medicare. “Nationwide the need for primary care providers is on the rise due in large part to the aging baby boomer generation and longer life expectancy among Americans—two factors that contribute to greater demand for health care services,” explains Derek Dickard, who oversees the operations of AH Castle’s primary care clinics as director of the Castle Physician Network. “Several years ago, Castle took a close look at the health care needs of Windward O‘ahu communities and found that we could make a positive impact by providing greater access to primary care services. We opened our first primary care clinic in Laie in 2015, and have steadily recruited more doctors to the Windward side, opened four more clinics and added new services.” Expanded services at our Laie clinic Serving a large rural population that encompasses communities from Ka‘a‘awa to Haleiwa, Castle Health Clinic of Laie—under the guidance of Marc Shlachter, MD, a family medicine physician— is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to patients of all ages, from infants to seniors. In the past year, the clinic has added new services, including OB-GYN, ENT and pediatric specialists, and has just added family dental services. Partners in sickness and in health Primary care providers (PCPs) play an important role as partners in helping you achieve and maintain optimal health. Their comprehensive training enables them to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical problems, help you manage chronic illnesses, prescribe routine preventive care and screenings, and coordinate care with specialists when needed. When a non-emergency medical issue arises, a PCP is often a patient’s first contact and, for many people, their personal doctor becomes a trusted counselor and advocate who provides a continuity of health care services over a lifetime. The best time to choose a PCP is before you get sick so that you have time to find a doctor who not only meets your needs and expectations, but who also puts you at ease when discussing your health concerns and questions. Here are some of the other things you may want to consider when looking for a PCP: •  Are the office location and hours convenient? •  Does the provider accept your health insurance plan? •  Is it easy to schedule appointments, even on short notice, when you’re sick? •  Does the provider take time to explain tests and treatment options? Fostering a positive patient-provider relationship is as important to your providers as it is to you. Understanding your lifestyle, medical history and potential hereditary health factors, for example, helps your provider guide you toward appropriate screenings, preventive care and healthy habits. Routine wellness exams help your provider monitor and detect changes in existing health conditions as well as uncover and treat medical issues you may not have noticed—before they become more serious. It is the vision of AH Castle to transform the health experience of our community by improving health, enhancing interactions and making care more accessible for Windward O‘ahu residents. Castle’s commitment to providing patient-centered health care extends throughout our medical center, affiliated physician network and our five primary care clinics. Our growing primary care clinics— New patients welcome! The role of our nurse practitioners Our nurse practitioners (NPs) are skilled health care professionals who have completed graduate- level education and have the clinical knowledge and skills to provide direct patient care. They can prescribe medications, follow clinical guidelines, and provide preventive education and chronic illness care. With their highly specialized training, our NPs work in collaboration with our physicians to enable our clinics to extend hours and provide high-quality, convenient care.