By Mary Ann Crispin, RN, Disease Management CoordinatorMay 8, 2014
FORT LEE, Va. (May 8, 2014) -- National Women's Health Week is a perfect time for Kenner Army Health Clinic to encourage and empower women to make health a priority through routine medical exams and preventive screenings, being active, paying attention to emotional health needs, and avoiding unhealthy practices.
Each year, Mother's Day serves as a reminder to "Get Healthy" by focusing on the importance of managing individual health, getting simple preventive tests done, and working with health professionals to identify tests that can enhance women's health.
KAHC will open its doors and welcome beneficiaries and the community to observe the week with a series of educational displays aimed at encouraging timely preventive screenings beneficial to maintaining good health. This also is an opportunity for Kenner's Tricare Network partners to answer questions and concerns.
Beginning May 12 and ending with a group walk on May 16, 10 a.m. - noon daily, Kenner will host women's health groups, providers, health care representative and network partners for interactive and informative displays in the KAHC pharmacy lobby area. Stop by to talk or pick up free information pamphlets to help you meet your wellness goals.
Health Net Federal Services, the managed care support contractor for TRICARE North, offers wellness tips designed to enhance health and fitness. Specifically, the Disease Management Education Center at www.hnfs.com provides links to information and classes. Use the keyword "wellness" in the search block at the top right of the webpage. The tele-classes require a brief registration for materials to be delivered to the patient's home address and then on class day, simply call in and listen.
Consider the month of May as an opportunity to review your health needs specific to your age and family history. Annual well- women checkups cover many preventive screenings to promote overall health. This also can provide a chance to set health goals and speak to a provider about any concerns you may be having.
Women's Health Week also promotes annual health screenings, including the Pap test, which can find changes in a woman's cervix before cancer develops. According to the American Cancer Society, the greatest risk factor for cervical cancer is infection from the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease that can cause changes in the cervix over time.
A woman who has been vaccinated against HPV should still follow the screening recommendations for her age group.
"Everyone plays a role in supporting women and encouraging them to stay healthy," said Kim Parks, a Kenner certified nurse practitioner specializing in women's health.
"Women and girls, ages 13 and older, are always welcome to make an appointment with Kenner's Women's Health providers for their health needs, even if they only have questions," said Parks.
When calling for an appointment, patients need to specify they wish to see someone in Women's Health. The Health Team nurse can be reached at (804) 734-9230.
Some women -- because of their history -- may need to have a different screening schedule for cervical cancer. It is important that every patient follow-up with their primary care manager to get test results.
Each month, KAHC reviews the needed health screenings of its patients. A staff member may talk with patients about the importance of regular medical screenings.
"Women serve as caregivers for their families, putting the needs of their spouses, partners, children and parents before their own," Parks said. "As a result, women's health and well-being becomes secondary. As health care professionals, we have a responsibility to support the women we know and do everything we can to help them take steps for longer, healthier, happier lives."
The team offers Pap smear testing, HPV co-testing, management of abnormal Pap smear results, breast exams and mammography, a wide variety of contraception options, pre-pregnancy health counseling, menopause management and acute gynecologic care for teenage through post-menopausal women. The 3, 5 and 10 year IUDs and Nexplanon™ are some long-term birth control options that are available.
To make an appointment, call (866) LEE-KAHC or (866) 533-5242 or visit www.tricareonline.com.