Pearl Harbor Medical Clinic Opens Welcoming and Wellness Centers


Story Number: NNS040204-05Release Date: 2/4/2004 1:06:00 PM
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By Journalist Seaman Ryan C. McGinley, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The Welcoming Center and the Wellness Center at Naval Medical Clinic Pearl Harbor, Makalapa, have combined efforts to create a one-stop shop for health and wellness. The two centers opened together for business Jan. 5 in the newly refurbished Makalapa Medical Annex.

The new Welcoming Center utilizes a proactive approach by providing comprehensive, age-appropriate healthcare screening and consultation with a credentialed provider for all newly arriving active-duty and family members.

This concept will be the wave of the future for the Navy, according to Capt. Peggy McNulty, director of the Welcoming Center and assistant director for Community Health.

"It's the first of its kind for Navy Medicine," she said. "There is no center like this anywhere in the Navy."

The functions of the center include checking the patient's blood pressure, pulse, height, weight and current use of medications, tobacco and alcohol. Active-duty patients will also receive a comprehensive, age-appropriate record review, a preventive health assessment (PHA) and an immunizations update. All patients' standard forms DD 2766 will be updated during their visit to the Welcoming Center.

The patients have a face-to-face interview with a credentialed provider who reviews with the patient their family history and current health needs and recommends healthy lifestyle changes and screening tests specific to age and gender. These deficiencies (tests, consults, immunizations, medication refills) are then ordered for the patient prior to their first appointment for follow-up. The patient is also given an appointment for a scheduled visit with their new provider.

Patients select their own primary care manager (PCM) from a booklet, which includes pictures, credentials and individual provider philosophy. "They choose their own provider, which has never been done before," said McNulty.

The Welcoming Center averages 20 to 30 new patients each day. The Welcoming Center has seen some staggering results that indicate the center is identifying previously undetected health needs. Almost 48 percent of the patients screened had never had their cholesterol checked. Five percent of the patients had previously undetected high blood pressure. Forty-five percent of women were overdue for their annual PAP smear test.

"The center was opened for this very reason," according to McNulty. "Most patients were only coming to medical if they had an immediate concern. In this day and age, it is difficult to take the time to learn about wellness, even though everyone should. The center helps each patient to be proactive by identifying each specific healthcare need and assisting them in the follow-on care that is needed to improve the condition," she continued.

"The Wellness Center relocated from the Makalapa Clinic to the Makalapa annex to join forces with the new Welcoming Center. The Wellness Center continues the health education initiated by the provider," said Lt. Shauna King-Anderson, department head for health promotion. Generally, a provider has 15-20 minutes to discuss health issues, diagnoses, medications and labs with the patient. The Wellness Center complements the health education by means of video, CD-ROM, books, posters, pamphlets and the option of hour-long individual health counseling.

The center educates on topics such as nutrition, diabetes, cholesterol, tobacco cessation and hypertension and also has classes available at both the Makalapa and Kaneohe Bay clinics.

"The Welcoming Center and Wellness Center are here to promote optimum health and wellness to Sailors and their families," concluded King-Anderson. "We can help you take the next step towards healthy living."

For more information, call the Welcoming Center 473-2444 ext. 501 or Health Promotion (Wellness Center) at 471-WELL(9335).

For related news, visit the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cnrh.

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