Munson Health
Friday, February 15, 2013 - Got Your Back -- And the Rest of You Covered, Too

Got Your Back – and the Rest of You Covered, Too
It’s good for finances, as well as one’s health to have a family physician

Family physicians are just what their title says a “family physician.”

They care for families from birth through the senior years. They help one live a longer and healthier life. As they get to know a family, they understand individual strengths and challenges. They can cheer patients on their successes and grieve with their losses.

They also play a key role in combating chronic disease and increasing wellness for all members of the family.

“With all the awareness of the importance of health care and wellness during the past few years, more people understand the value of preventive medicine,” said Sheila Atwood, chief operating officer at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center. “That’s why it is so important to have a primary care physician.”                                                                                                                       April Kurkowski, DO

Whether it is performing an annual physical exam, answering questions about one’s health, offering diet suggestions, or referring his or her patient to a specialist, primary care physicians help patients avoid health problems through regular wellness visits, a genuine relationship, and earned trust.

They also care for the sick, perform minor procedures, suture cuts, provide medication management, help manage multiple chronic conditions, offer end-of-life care, and much more.

The benefits of primary care help keep people out of expensive emergency room visits and often detect potential health problems early.

Family practice physicians have a role in meeting specific and immediate health needs, as well as offering ongoing relationships with patients that allow for opportunities for counseling and an ongoing perspective related to quality of life issues. They can also refer their patient to a specialist if it is needed.

The Kalkaska region boasts several board-certified physicians who work closely with the hospital to benefit patients in the area. This results in close-to-home care for area residents.

Local primary care physician offices include:
• Kalkaska Family Practice – Marc Frick, M.D.; Richard Hodgman, M.D.; Jeremy Holmes, D.O.; Andrew Long, D.O.; and Gary Ziegler, M.D., see patients at their office located at 419 S. Coral St., adjacent to Kalkaska Memorial Health Center.
• Mancelona Family Practice – Albert Brown, M.D., and Jennifer Leino, M.D., see patients at their office at 419 W. State St. in Mancelona.
• Kalkaska Memorial Health Center’s Family Medicine Clinic – April Kurkowski, D.O., sees patients inside the hospital at 419 S. Coral St.

“It’s important for families who currently do not have a family physician to think about taking that step soon to ensure that they reap the benefits of better health and the changes that are occurring in health care nationally and in the state,” Atwood said.

To find a physician, all residents have to do is call Munson HealthLink at 1-800-533-5520.