Most people don’t think about finding a primary care physician until they experience a serious illness or injury. Suddenly, the importance of having one provider and health care team that is familiar with your medical history and has a unique understanding of your goals becomes clear. Primary care providers are where health care begins. They are familiar with a multitude of health conditions. They inform patients, diagnose and treat acute issues such as respiratory illnesses, injuries, infections and more. They also guide care for long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, obesity, anxiety and depression. They provide an entire team to take care of you including nurses, medical assistants, social workers, specialists and more. “We basically serve as the quarterback for our patients’ health care,” said Kyle Reed, MD, primary care physician at The Liberty Clinic. “We address the entire person, taking into account their values, beliefs and preferences.” Dr. Reed stresses the importance of finding a provider who takes time to understand a person’s health history and goals. Primary care providers are experts in managing multiple treatments and medications and the interactions between them. They also help patients navigate the health care system to find the right care at the right time, from preventive care to emergency care. They play a big role in helping people stay healthy at home as long as possible. When advanced care is needed, they provide referrals to specialists or direct further testing. “Going to urgent care or the emergency department for basic care is not ideal because those providers will not be familiar with your previous health issues and those visits can be expensive,” Dr. Reed said. “I chose to become a primary care physician because I love the idea of preventing medical problems before they become a serious problem.” Dr. Reed emphasizes that preventive care begins with regular health screenings. “One of the most important things we do is to encourage patients to be seen regularly,” he said. “For example, it isn’t uncommon for new patients to find out they have elevated blood pressure or cholesterol or another issue that would cause problems down the road if not addressed.” When it comes to cost, research shows that having a primary care provider coincides with a decrease in hospital and ER visits and lower overall health costs. “People who do not have a primary care provider should find one,” Dr. Reed said. “Not surprisingly, research shows that people who have a primary care provider live longer and have better overall health.” To learn about Liberty Hospital Primary Care, with five convenient primary care locations in the Northland and same-day appointments, visit libertyhospital.org/primarycare. Dr. Kyle Reed

Dr. Kyle ReedReed, Kyle 2019.jpg21ad97c6-98dd-11ec-a745-539c2f7941236Reed, Kyle 2019mycouriertribune.com0

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