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Ways You Can Prevent Skin Cancer

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but it brings our focus to a health topic that deserves attention every month. With more than five million cases diagnosed each year, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Fortunately, it’s also the most preventable.

Most skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Being in the sunshine for a certain amount of time is good for you, but there are ways to keep it from harming you. Here’s a look at how to protect the skin you — and your loved ones — are in.  

Slather Sunscreen

Even when it is cloudy outside, the sun’s damaging UV rays can penetrate the clouds then bounce off water, glass, and sand to cause even more damage. They are even more powerful on bright, sunny days. Wearing sunblock in any season — even if you have darker skin — is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer. 

The MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests using a sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more, and that offers both UVA and UVB protection. “Also make sure the sunscreen you choose contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide,” they recommend

Putting sunblock on once won’t be enough, either. “Ideally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating heavily,” Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital advises. You may also need to wear more than you think, according to experts at The Skin Cancer Foundation. Rub “a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone,” they say. “If you’re using a spray, apply until an even sheen appears on the skin.”

Stay Out of the Sun

You may not need an umbrella in the sun, but staying out of direct, intense sunlight will keep your skin safer. Having fun inside or in the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM ET (which are the brightest parts of the day) is what experts at the American Skin Association recommend.

Cover it Up

Sunscreen works well, but it sometimes needs help. When you’re outside, “Broad-brimmed hats, bucket hats with wide brims and legionnaire-style hats are effective methods of sun protection to the head, ears, face and neck,” says the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective,” the American Cancer Society also advises. Keep in mind that dark colors reflect more of the sun’s rays than light colors, and loose-weave fabrics may not provide as much protection. Have fun with your sun-safe fashion by exploring clothes made with fabric that blocks harmful rays. 

Know the Signs of Melanoma

The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma. But if it is found and treated early, your survival rate increases. Pay attention to any new changes in your skin by using the ABCDEs of melanoma:

  • A – Asymmetry: Most melanomas have an uneven shape.
  • B – Borders: The borders of a melanoma are often scalloped or uneven.
  • C – Color: Harmless moles and freckles are usually only one color, but a melanoma may also be white, blue, or red in places.
  • D – Diameter (or also Dark): Melanomas may start small but grow larger than a pencil eraser. Also, they can be darker than other moles.
  • E – Evolving: If you have a mole that changes size, shape, or color, or starts bleeding or itching, talk to your doctor right away. 

At YourTown Health, we care about the skin you’re in from head to toe. If you have a new skin concern or want more advice about taking care of your skin and everything it covers, visit our website to contact us.

How to Bring in the New Year Safely

Along with any other personal resolutions you may have already made, one thing to keep front-of-mind as we welcome a new year is to care for your own health and safety. Here are a few ideas from the caring team at YourTown Health that can help you prioritize these two things well into 2022 and beyond.

Stay COVID Safe and Get Vaccinated

While many of us are eagerly looking forward to when we can say goodbye to face masks, in order to protect against the spread of the virus and its new variants, we may need to continue social distancing and wearing masks in everyday life through 2022. 

The CDC also recommends that everyone over 5 years old gets vaccinated for COVID-19, and everyone over 18 gets a booster if already vaccinated. Making these appointments, standing in lines, and getting an injection may not be pleasant experiences, but the COVID-19 vaccines bring many benefits, and provide added protection during normal activities. Getting the vaccine doesn’t only help the recipient; it has been shown to also help protect the unborn fetuses of expectant mothers and newborns who are nursing.

Keep in mind, however, that the COVID vaccine isn’t the only one to think about at this time of year. Getting the flu shot is also essential for helping us to keep our community healthy, and our COVID-strained hospitals better equipped to help those in the most dire need. 

Thankfully, many health clinics offer both COVID boosters and flu shots at the same time. Modern Family star Sarah Hyland shared her experiences getting both a COVID booster and flu shot on her social media platforms, and other celebrities have shared their vaccine experiences to help encourage everyone to stay safe together. 

Keep the Habit of Washing Your Hands

Making sure to wash your hands regularly has been lifesaving during this pandemic as “one of the most effective ways of keeping diseases at bay,” as Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of the WHO South-East Asia Region has noted.

The simple act of washing your hands can not only help to protect you against the COVD-19 virus, but also many other viruses and diseases, as well as those caused by bacteria on food. For this reason, we must maintain the habit of regular hand washing in 2022 to continue keeping ourselves and our communities safe.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings and Take Precautions

Health and safety aren’t just about the things you can’t see, like viruses and bacteria. Some of the most important precautions you can take are right in front of your face… or under your feet.

As you travel around your community, stay aware of your surroundings. Make sure to check for oncoming traffic and make an effort to always be a safe pedestrian. Also remain mindful of things such as where exits are in a building in case of a sudden emergency. 

Taking precautions like wearing non-slip shoes so you don’t fall on slippery floors seems simple but can also help. If you’re driving — or in a car at all — one of the safest choices you can make is to put on your seatbelt. It only takes a couple of seconds, but making sure that you and your passengers wear your seatbelts every time can help you and your family avoid accidental injury and keep you all safe.

At YourTown Health, we have been serving our communities for over 35 years and are devoted to providing high-quality health care to everyone in our community, regardless of insurance coverage. For more information on how you can stay safe and healthy, visit our website.

Ways You Can Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is common and affects more than 10% of the U.S. population. While type 1 diabetes is diagnosed during childhood and can’t be prevented, type 2 diabetes often can. Even if you have risk factors such as a family history, here’s what you can do to identify and control your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Understand Your Diabetes Risk

Diabetes occurs when glucose, or sugar, builds up in the blood. In type 2 diabetes, the cells become resistant to insulin, which normally helps absorb sugar. While experts aren’t sure exactly why this occurs, it’s believed that a combination of lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors leads to diabetes.

Being overweight is a known risk factor for diabetes, but not everyone who gets diabetes is overweight. Your diabetes risk is also higher if you:

  • Are over the age of 45
  • Have a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Don’t exercise
  • Are Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander
  • Have high blood sugar or cholesterol
  • Have had diabetes during pregnancy
  • Have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Fortunately, identifying risk factors that can’t be changed will allow you to focus on the following risks that you can control.

Manage Your Weight

Being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors for developing diabetes, but it’s also one that can be changed. If you’re overweight, losing seven to ten percent of your body weight could cut your diabetes risk in half.

Adjust Your Diet

Even small changes in food choices can go a long way to reduce your diabetes risk. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Swap out sugary beverages for water to reduce your overall sugar intake, which can improve your body’s ability to process sugar.
  • When possible, choose lean proteins such as grilled chicken or beans over heavily processed meats. Go for whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread or pasta, as these cause less of a sugar spike in your system.
  • Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, since they help control blood sugar.
  • Control your portions. Smaller meals are easier for the body to process, so start with smaller servings and stop once you feel full.

Exercise Regularly

Combined with a healthy diet, exercise can be even more powerful than certain drugs for preventing diabetes. Exercising for 150 minutes a week (30 minutes, five days a week) is ideal for reducing your diabetes risk, but you can work up to that amount gradually over time. Finding an exercise you enjoy is the best way to stick with physical activity, but it doesn’t have to be complicated — walking is free, requires no special training or equipment, and can be done almost anywhere.

Move Throughout the Day

In addition to routine exercise, small movements throughout the day can help prevent diabetes. Breaking up long periods of sitting with short walks has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. If you have a desk job, set reminders on your phone to get up and move each hour.

Get Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps the body control blood sugar. If you’re vitamin D deficient, taking a supplement could help your body produce insulin to significantly reduce your diabetes risk. Good sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver. If you think you might not get enough of the nutrient from your diet, ask your doctor about taking supplements.

If you want to learn more about ways to prevent diabetes or there’s another health issue you’d like to discuss, turn to one of our caring practitioners. Find your closest location, or request a telehealth appointment for a virtual visit.

Health Resolutions You Should Commit to in 2021

For most, 2020 was an extremely challenging year. As we hope for a better year ahead, it’s also time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions! With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, we encourage you to keep health and wellness at the forefront of your 2021. Here are health resolutions you should commit to in 2021!

Focus on Your Mental Health 

2020 had a lot of negative news. Pairing that with social distancing and the inability to visit loved ones: it’s impacted the mental health of thousands of people around the world. 

Identifying mental health stressors and learning new ways to manage and deal with this stress is a great way to start the new year. 

Need actionable next steps? Follow these tips:

  • Consider journaling. Writing down what you feel grateful for or items troubling you can help organize your thoughts and create a greater sense of control. 
  • Reach out to a professional. With many virtual options available, seeking advice from a therapist or psychologist is more accessible now than ever. If you’re struggling with your mental health, seeking professional help is often the best first step you can take. Do some research to see if local therapists in your area are offering online counseling. If not, many national programs, such as BetterHelp, offer great, affordable options. 
  • Make “de-stressing” part of your routine. The highs and lows of life are unavoidable. That’s why working stress management into your routine is one of the best mental health habits you can develop. Some options to consider include: prioritizing 7-8 hours of sleep each night (yes, that’s a stress management tool!), limiting screen-time, scheduling daily walks, planning regular conversations with loved ones, reading a book, or even making time for activities like puzzling or coloring that can take your mind off the worries of the day. 

Break Bad Pandemic Habits  

Although important in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the stay-at-home order and social distancing didn’t do many favors for some of our healthy habits. In fact, it was common that most people reduced their physical activity and ordered take-out food for meals. While there’s no need to feel guilty about that, especially if those habits helped to get you through those challenging months, it’s time to reconsider those unhealthy habits that the pandemic created. 

For example, if you’ve dropped exercising these past few months, it’s time to get back to it. While you don’t necessarily need to go back to the gym, though now they’re following strict COVID-19 regulations, find ways to get yourself moving and motivated. Follow online workout classes at home, and exercise outside while safely distancing yourself from others. 

Take a look at the habits you picked up during the pandemic. Decide if they’re hurting or helping your health. If unhealthy, focus on habits that reverse their impact for the new year. 

Keep Up Cleanliness Habits

As we continue battling the coronavirus pandemic, personal hygiene and cleanliness are more important than ever. Thankfully, these habits will still have health benefits even after the pandemic is behind us. Certain practices such as washing your hands after visiting a store or wearing a mask in public when sick or in crowded places will slow the spread of other diseases and germs, such as the common cold or stomach bugs. 

If you would like to speak to a health professional about health resolutions you should commit to in 2021, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644.

Addressing Common COVID-19 Myths

One of the many challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been a lack of information. Health experts around the world are doing everything they can to learn more about this disease, how it spreads, and how to combat it. Unfortunately, this lack of information has also opened several doors to the spread of misleading information and myths about COVID-19.

To help educate you on important information regarding the pandemic, the medical experts at YourTown Health are exploring common COVID-19 myths. Want to learn more? Continue reading below!

Myth: COVID-19 dies in the heat.

Fact: While there is some evidence that the spread of coronavirus dies in extreme heat and humid conditions, this is not enough to justify not worrying about contracting COVID-19 in warmer weather. In fact, the world has witnessed a spike in cases as many took the summertime as an excuse to go outside and resume normal activities. 

Myth: I’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past and am now immune.

Fact: While some cases have shown immunity to COVID-19 months after contracting it, there are also cases reported of people contracting the disease a second time.

In other words, we don’t currently know enough to prove that someone is immune to this disease. With this in mind, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past, you should continue to follow best practices to avoid contracting it in the future.

Myth: If I don’t feel sick or have symptoms, I don’t have COVID-19.

Fact: 1 in 5 cases of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning 20% of people with the disease are not showing symptoms, according to a Healthline

In other words, symptom-free does not mean you’re in the clear. Therefore, wearing a mask in public, getting testing, and avoiding crowds, big or small, is still vital for everyone’s safety – not just those diagnosed or showing symptoms.  

Myth: Doctor offices or hospitals are not safe

Fact: Doctor’s offices and hospitals remain one of the safest places to receive medical care, even during this pandemic. Recently, many health organizations have experienced a decrease in outpatient visits and treatment of medical conditions due to people not visiting the doctor in fear of contracting COVID-19. 

To stay confident about your health, continue to visit your doctor for routine check-ups, and seek immediate care during a medical emergency. 

Myth: COVID-19 is the flu.

Fact: COVID-19 is not the flu. Although the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can look similar, the two are caused by different viruses. Learn more about the differences between COVID-19 and the flu. 

Myth: Young people are at low risk of contracting COVID-19.

Fact: Recent data shows a surge in young adults contracting COVID-19. It’s now believed that 1 in 3 young adults will experience severe symptoms of COVID-19 when diagnosed with the disease. 

Regardless of age, we must follow best practices and guidelines to avoid COVID-19 and to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and everyone around us. 

Myth: Testing is painful and not worth it.

Fact: There are several methods to test for COVID-19. The one that is most often discussed is the nasal swab method. Generally, many people have reported that the sensation when receiving the test was more of a tickle than anything else. It may be uncomfortable for a minute but should not be painful. Learn more about COVID-19 testing here, explained by the medical professionals at YourTown Health.  

If you are asking yourself, is receiving a test worth it? Understand this: receiving a COVID-19 test is the right thing to do for yourself, your loved ones, and others around you. Getting tested after being in large crowds, with the onset of symptoms, known exposure to someone who tested positive, or if you are just curious whether you are positive, is key to taking care of yourself and not passing the disease to anyone else. Read more about why COVID-19 testing is vital here.

At YourTown Health, we offer FREE COVID-19 tests to our surrounding communities on select dates and times. For updates on our testing dates, follow us on Facebook or Twitter or visit our COVID-19 Testing page on our website

If you would like to speak to one of our medical experts about COVID-19 or learn more about our testing, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644. 

Breast Cancer Awareness: How to Prevent Breast Cancer

About one in eight US women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life, and it’s estimated that in 2020 about 276,480 cases will be diagnosed. Although these statistics are alarming — through awareness, early detection, and healthy habits, we’re making great strides in the fight against this disease.

While there is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, there are lifestyle choices you can make to improve your overall health and therefore, your odds against this disease. 

Avoid Alcohol 

Even low amounts of alcohol are linked to a higher chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society suggests this connection is related to the rise in estrogen levels in the body caused by alcohol. It’s best to avoid alcohol altogether if possible. However, if you do drink alcohol, it’s important to not have more than 1 drink per day.

Be Active 

At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week can lead to a lower breast cancer risk. Moderate exercise includes anything that increases your heart rate, like a brisk walk or a casual bike ride. A good way to measure this is that you should be able to talk, but not sing. Vigorous exercise includes activities like jogging or weightlifting that increase your heart rate significantly and makes you break a sweat. If you can say a few words but not hold a conversation, you’re likely engaged in vigorous exercise.

So, strap on your sneakers and get moving! 

Benefits of Breastfeeding 

For women who choose to breastfeed for at least six months, their risk for breast cancer is reduced. While this should not be the only factor considered when choosing how to feed and nourish your baby, it is an important factor to consider.

Healthy Weight 

Being overweight or experiencing a heavy weight gain as an adult can lead to a higher risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause. Again, this is why developing overall healthy habits is so important, especially throughout adulthood. 

Studies About Diet to Prevent Breast Cancer

Currently, studies examining the link between diet and breast cancer are inconclusive. However, some suggest there is likely a connection between consuming vegetables, fruits, and calcium-rich dairy and lower breast cancer risks.

Early Detection 

Even if you choose to adopt these lifestyle changes to lessen your risk for developing breast cancer, the most important step you can take for your health is to participate in regular screenings. Doing so increases your chances of both early detection and recovery. 

Here’s what you should be doing and when:

  • Monthly breast self-examination: You should be familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to a health care provider right away. 
  • Yearly mammograms starting at age 40. However, if you have an increased risk of breast cancer, such as family history, you may need to begin earlier. 
  • Speak with your primary care physician about the best preventative plan for you.

If you would like to speak to a physician about building healthy habits or assessing your ability to prevent breast cancer, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644.

Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, with more than 500,000 Americans diagnosed each year and more than five million currently living with the disease. According to the CDC, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s most often appear after the age of 60 and steadily worsen over time. Impacting memory, thinking, and behavior, this can be a distressing diagnosis to receive, both for the patient and for their family and friends. 

Although there is not currently a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatments for the symptoms – both drug and non-drug options – are widely available. These treatments can temporarily slow down the progression of dementia symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life. To learn more about the treatment options for Alzheimer’s, read this article from the National Institute of Aging.  

Knowing the potential warning signs of this complex disease can help you get a diagnosis during its earlier stages, when many of the available treatment can do the most good. It’s particularly important to recognize the signs if you or someone you love has a family history of Alzheimer’s, but anyone with these early symptoms should bring them to the attention of their doctor.

Early Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease 

The first signs are usually minor and can easily go unnoticed early on. During the early stages, the primary symptoms are:

  • Increase in aggressive behavior.
  • Frequently repeating questions and forgetting things.
  • Getting lost.
  • Increase in overall anxiety.
  • Complications and issues with handling money.
  • Requiring a long time to complete a daily task. 
  • Misplacing items.
  • Increase in mood swings.
  • Changes in personality.
  • Confusion with time or place.

Please note that if you or someone you know demonstrates any of these signs, it does not necessarily mean that you or that person has Alzheimer’s disease. It simply means it’s time to talk to your doctor for further testing. Early detection can make a big difference. 

That’s why it’s important, even at a young age, to continue scheduling your regular check-ups with your primary care doctor and to take care of your physician health. In fact, people with dementia who maintain a healthy lifestyle progress more slowly to the later stages, says Harvard Health Publishing

Do you have any questions for us about Alzheimer’s? Are you due for your annual primary care appointment? Click here to get in contact with our team of healthcare professionals or call us at 770-463-4644. To learn more about Alzheimer’s, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website

Why Should You Care About Your Cholesterol?

Chances are you’ve heard about cholesterol before. It may have come up in a discussion about eating a balanced diet. Or living a healthy lifestyle. Or lowering your risk of heart disease, which is the number one killer of adults in the United States. 

But what exactly is cholesterol? And why does it matter for your health? Continue reading to learn more about cholesterol and why your doctor should check your levels regularly.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in all cells of the body. It plays many important roles, such as making Vitamin D and hormones, and helping with digestion.

There are two main types of cholesterol. The first is “high-density lipoprotein” (HDL), sometimes known as “good cholesterol.” HDL supports your health in several ways: 

  • Helps the liver create bile, a fluid that aids digestion.
  • Maintains the structure of blood vessels and cells. 
  • Supports bone health, mental health, and sexual drive. 

The second type of cholesterol is “low-density lipoprotein” (LDL), sometimes known as “bad cholesterol.” When your body has too much LDL, a sticky plaque can develop inside your arterial walls. This can constrict blood flow throughout the body. That may put you at greater risk of heart attack, heart disease, or stroke.

“Total cholesterol” is the sum of your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, plus triglycerides. (Triglycerides are a fat-like substance similar to cholesterol.)

Why is it Important to Monitor?

Too much LDL cholesterol in your body can cause serious health problems. Too little HDL cholesterol can disrupt many vital bodily functions. Stay healthier by keeping both kinds of cholesterol in their ideal ranges.

The ideal total cholesterol level for an adult is between 140-200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Total cholesterol levels above 240mg/dL are considered too high. High total cholesterol may put your health at risk and should be evaluated by your doctor.

However, the different types of cholesterol (HDL and LDL) have different ideal ranges. For HDL, you want a level that is higher than 60mg/dL. For LDL, any levels under 100mg/dL are considered healthy. 

The American Heart Association recommends that adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol levels checked at least every 4 to 6 years. During your primary care visit, a sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm using a small needle. The needle may cause a slight sting, but the process is otherwise not painful. It takes less than five minutes. Your doctor will send the blood sample to a laboratory to measure your cholesterol levels.

If your cholesterol levels raise any concerns, your doctor will advise you on your best options for improving them. With regular monitoring and maintenance, you and your doctor can do a lot to lower your risk of serious health problems. It’s an important practice for your overall health and wellness.

If you need a primary care physician or have questions about your cholesterol levels, click here to contact us or call 770-463-4644. 

Five Back-To-School Health Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Across the country, parents are preparing their students — and themselves — for a back-to-school season unlike any we’ve had before. Whether your children will be learning remotely at home or returning to in-classroom instruction, keeping them healthy is going to require more than the usual nutritious snacks and a regular bedtime.

The coronavirus pandemic can feel overwhelming sometimes, but there’s actually a lot you can do to keep your family healthy as summer vacation draws to a close and the new school year begins. In combination with the protective measures taken by your school and public health agencies, together, we can keep kids safe while helping their young minds grow. Follow these back-to-school health tips to learn how to do just that!

1. Teach your children to wear their masks

According to the CDC, cloth face masks help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially in settings where social distancing is challenging. Start practicing and encouraging good mask-wearing habits at home before school starts. If your children are returning to the classroom, it will help protect them, their fellow students, and their teachers and staff. If they’re doing virtual learning from home, masks are still important anytime your kids go out in public.

2. Help your children find healthy ways to manage stress

This school year will be unlike any your children have experienced before. Rapid change and unfamiliar situations can be stressful for anyone, and children are often less equipped to manage that stress. They may also be discouraged that they cannot spend time with friends after school or participate in their favorite activities, all of which previously helped them reduce their stress.

Help your kids find new ways to lower their stress, such as exploring new hobbies, coordinating video calls with their friends, indulging in some video games, and more. Most importantly, be sure to let your child know that feeling some day-to-day stress is normal, but that they should talk with you anytime they feel overwhelmed and want some help.

3. Encourage your children to stay active

Especially if your child is participating in classes online, it’s important that they take frequent breaks to get up, move around and stretch. ​According to the Baltimore Business Journal, “frequent stretching keeps a proper blood and nutrient supply to the working muscles and tissues throughout the workday [schoolday] and prevents fatigue and discomfort … while reducing stress and increasing energy.”                         

Students should consider taking breaks from sitting ​every 30 minutes​ – whether it be walking around the block or strolling to the kitchen – ​according to a study from researchers at Weill Cornell Medical Center, University of Michigan, and Columbia Medical Center.

4. Practice washing hands together

Washing hands is an important way to help prevent the spread of disease even in normal times.  During this pandemic, it’s more important than ever. Teach your children to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently throughout the day. ​Check out the CDC’s guidelines for handwashing, then practice with them at home. You can even make a game of it by singing a song together as you wash. Remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or the length of your favorite song.

5. Continue taking your children to their doctor

While going anywhere outside your home during this pandemic can feel risky, doctors’ offices are one of the safest places you can go to receive needed care and treatment. It’s far riskier to avoid or delay check-ups and medical care, possibly leaving serious health issues undetected or untreated.

Most doctors’ offices — including all of YourTown Health’s community health centers — are taking extraordinary precautions to ensure the health and safety of their patients and staff. So, keep scheduling those annual well-check visits for your children, and reach out to your doctor anytime your children show signs of needing medical attention.

If you would like to speak to our team further about back-to-school health tips or schedule a well-check visit, click here to contact the experts at YourTown Health or call 770-463-4644.

What is a Community Health Center? And Why Are These Centers So Fundamental to Good Healthcare?

YourTown Health is a network of eight non-profit Community Health Centers located in communities that would otherwise have limited access to affordable, quality healthcare, especially if you’re uninsured or underinsured.

If you’re asking yourself, “What is a Community Health Center?”, you’re in the right place. Continue reading to learn what they are, why they are so fundamental to our healthcare system, and how we can all celebrate and support these essential organizations.

What are Community Health Centers?

Community Health Centers are community-based and patient-focused organizations that deliver high-quality and compassionate primary healthcare services to the communities they serve. They provide treatment and healthcare education services to patients while ensuring that no patient is turned away from receiving needed care. In addition to primary care, Community Health Centers often provide a wide range of services that support healthier communities.

As a network of Community Health Centers ourselves, YourTown Health’s mission is to provide comprehensive preventative, curative, and life-enhancing services in a non-judgmental and compassionate environment. We offer pediatric and adolescent care, family practice and internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, dentistry, and pharmacy services. Our Community Health Centers also provide immunizations, diagnostic testing and laboratory services, school and work physicians, and referrals to qualified specialists.

Why Are These Centers Fundamental to Good Healthcare?

Community Health Centers provide access to essential healthcare services to the people of their communities, care that might otherwise be unavailable for many. They help their patients live healthier lives and support the overall health of their communities.

As the National Association of Community Health Center puts it, “In moments of pain and loss, [Community Health Centers] offer support and love. In moments of triumph, they offer hope and vision for the future.”

Contact a YourTown Health office location to schedule an appointment with a provider.

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