This month we celebrated National Health Center Week to raise awareness of the important role health centers play in our communities.
But, why just celebrate one week? Let’s spread awareness year-round about the positive impact health centers have.
Health centers serve 23 million patients in the United States, which is about one in fifteen people who utilize health centers as their health care home. As a Patient-Centered Medical Home, DFD meets and exceeds the healthcare needs of its patients through innovative, patient–centered primary care services.
Through our system focused on care coordination, patient education, and medication management, DFD Russell has seen a:
- 20% decrease in non-preventative medical provider visits
- 50% decrease in patient visits to the ER
- 38% decrease in patients requiring hospital stays
Health Centers across the United States perform just as well or better than private physicians on 94% of quality measures and save an average of $1,263 per patient per year.
DFD is the highest-ranking community health center in Maine and the nation for its commitment to quality care. Each year DFD serves more than 8,000 local patients with 25,000 encounters.
But what makes DFD different from other providers?
- More night and weekend hours
- More likely to accept new patients
- More services under one roof
Health Centers make a tremendous impact in our communities. DFD alone employs 54 individuals, providing over $3,900,000 in salaries and benefits that go back into our community each year.
Together, let’s raise awareness about the positive impacts health centers have on our communities, Share with friends and family on how DFD is supporting our neighborhoods and can help support them.
You’ve scrubbed the floors, put away winter clothing and now it’s time to tidy up your health! Follow our tips below to give your health a fresh spring start.
Clean your home for your health:
Go through your medicine cabinet and safely dispose* of any prescription medications that are no longer in use or past their expiration date.
Wash your linens and blankets, and wipe down all smooth surfaces like ceiling fans to eliminate dust and pollen in your home. If you use forced air heating or air conditioning now is a great time to replace your furnace filters.
At the gym, people typically only spend about an hour or two exercising. Find an activity you enjoy outside, such as gardening, and you’ll find you might spend a whole afternoon getting in a natural workout.
Kill kitchen bacteria:
Your kitchen sink probably contains more E. coli than your toilet, and your sponge and dishtowels are breeding grounds for salmonella. Wipe down your kitchen regularly with a trusted cleaning solution. And don’t forget to regularly wash your reusable grocery bags, too!
Make an appointment with your primary care provider:
Many adults only visit the doctor when they’re sick. Make it a point to have regular check-ups with your primary care providers. Taking preventative measures now can prevent emergencies from happening later.
*Expired and unwanted medication is a significant public safety and health hazard. Androscoggin county hosts a drug take-back program every spring and fall. Visit healthyandroscoggin.org or call to talk to a DFD Community Health and Outreach Worker for more information.
Did you know that 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths, but if caught early it’s treatable and can even be curable. Some symptoms of colorectal cancer can include:
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
- Rectal bleeding and blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark
- Cramping or abdominal pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unintended weight loss
These symptoms could be caused by something other than colorectal cancer, but if you’re experiencing any or all of these, talk to your doctor.
Regular screening saves lives. DFD offers InSure FIT testing. A non-invasive test completed in the privacy of your own home to catch colorectal cancer quickly.
Nearly 75% of all colon cancer cases could be prevented with healthy lifestyles. Lower your risk by following the tips below:
- Quit smoking
- Exercise daily
- Reduce consumption of red and processed meat
- Get enough calcium and Vitamin D
DFD is working to keep our community safe.
DFD has been diligently managing the opioid crisis, leading the medical community in responsible prescribing. By taking proactive steps we are able to achieve goals of ensuring responsible, safe, and effective prescribing of powerful pain medications (when truly necessary and if other measures fail). We want to keep our community safe, while at the same time treating patients in need of pain management with comprehensive measures to help improve their function and quality of life.
Steps we have taken include:
- Additional training in pain management strategies
- Expansion of behavioral health-oriented pain management techniques
- Stronger relationships with physical therapy partners
- Enhanced risk-oriented monitoring programs
There is always room for growth and improvement, but with these changes, we continue to lead the medical community in responsible prescribing.
February is heart month, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be raising awareness all the time about heart health. Did you know?
Heart disease is responsible for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States each year.
Heart disease is more deadly than all cancers combined.
45% of heart attack victims are under the age of 45.
1 in 5 Americans will develop heart failure.
Each year, an estimated 785,000 Americans will have their first heart attack.
DFD is committed to stopping heart disease before it starts. By emphasizing preventative care, we’re here every step of the way to get your heart happy and healthy. Below are steps you can take every day to lower your risk for heart disease:
- Know and control your numbers: blood pressure (BP), cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI).
- Quit smoking: quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. DFD offers a smoking cessation program to provide support and resources to help you kick the habit for good.
- Get active: just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day can lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Manage stress: take 15-30 minutes of personal time each day. Understand stress triggers, and learn how to respond at home and at work.
- Choose good nutrition: a healthy diet is one of the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Your diet should emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and should limit sugar and salt.
By taking these steps each day, we can change the stats of heart disease.
Join us in learning new ways to save money and eat healthy!
Starting Wednesday, March 8, we’ll be hosting educational classes where you can try and prepare new tasty recipes, take home prizes, and learn useful new information.
The class is open to all DFD Russell Medical Center patients and families and will be held on the second Wednesday of each month from 4 pm – 5 pm. Classes will be located in the conference room in the basement of the Leeds DFD Russell Medical Center at 180 Church Hill Road, Leeds, ME.
To learn more about SNAP-ED click here: https://www.mainesnap-ed.org/
Due to inclement weather, DFD will be closing at noon at all three locations.
Follow the tips below to get and stay on the track to good health.
Manage Stress: Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends and try to keep a relaxed and positive outlook. Engaging in healthy activities and getting the right care can put problems in perspective and ease stress.
Get Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular check-ups to help find problems before they start or early enough for treatment and cure.
Stay Active: Find fun ways to stay active–like dancing–for at least 2 1/2 hours each week. It is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
DFD Russell Medical Centers (DFD) will be holding a series of three outreach events to assist the public with questions regarding Healthcare Marketplace coverage and enrollment options. An outreach event will be held at each one of DFD’s medical centers, which include Monmouth, Turner and Leeds. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in mid- to late- January before the January 31 open enrollment deadline.
These small, informal events will review Marketplace basics and offer answers to questions regarding specific plans or assist with enrollment. Pre-registration is required. Those interested in attending should call DFD at (207)524-4010.
“January 31, 2017, is the last day of the annual open enrollment for Healthcare Marketplace coverage,” said Tia Knapp, Community Health & Outreach Worker at DFD Russell Medical Centers. “It’s important that DFD is available to assist any community members who may have questions or need help enrolling.”
DFD Russell Medical Center Health Care Q&As
January 17, 2017 – Monmouth
WHEN: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 11 Academy Road, Monmouth
January 23, 2017- Turner
WHEN: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 7 So. Main Street, Turner
January 24, 2017 – Leeds
*Canceled due to weather*
WHEN: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: 180 Church Hill Road, Suite 1, Leeds
In attendance at each of the events will be outreach representatives from major insurance companies operating within the state, including Community Health Options, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Harvard Pilgrim. DFD’s own Community Healthcare Outreach Workers (CHOW) will also be on hand to offer appointments for enrollment services, such as helping patients and community members to enroll and analyze plan options.