Written by: Kathleen Findlay, MD, MPH
Family Practice & Integrative Medicine Physician
Diplomate-ABFM, ABOIM, ABLM; CYT-200
Each February we celebrate Heart Month, we encourage this to be a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health. Whether you have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or want to prevent it, Lifestyle Medicine can be an easily manageable solution.
Merriam-Webster defines disease as a condition that prevents the body or mind from working normally. Sometimes that condition has a name, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, but sometimes it doesn’t. The good news is that all disease responds to lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes refer to the way you eat, move your body, sleep, deal with stress, and the kinds of support you have to achieve better health. In fact, the first line treatment for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes is actually lifestyle change. But even if your condition doesn’t have a name, making these changes in your daily life can bring dramatic improvements in your overall health.
Western Wisconsin Health has an exciting program that we have developed to provide the support and education needed to assist you in achieving your goals and best health. Our Simple Health program brings you a unique team approach with personalized instructions for lifestyle change. Our team consists of an integrative medicine provider, registered dietician, and health and wellness coach. Together the focus is on simple lifestyle changes that include healthy foods and activity as medicine and mental stability as the support that optimizes your health.
As our Health and Wellness Coach Lynn Huiskamp says, “Changing your life can be simple, but it is not always easy!” To provide the support for lasting change, we see you about every 2 weeks, through team office visits and group visits. Your Simple Health journey begins in clinic with a team visit where you will spend about 20 minutes each with myself, WWH’s board certified integrative medicine physician, Cheri Rott, registered dietician, and Lynn Huiskamp, national board-certified health and wellness coach. During this time, we help you define your goals and develop your personalized plan for lifestyle change. About two weeks later, we would like you to attend one of our group visits to focus on the Simple Health core topics of Nutrition, Activity, and Stability. Group visits are shared medical appointments that begin with a quick clinic check-in followed by an hour of education and discussion with a group of like-minded individuals. Group visits occur on Monday evenings from 5-6:30 on a rotating basis. This program is personalized for you, so if the group visits won’t work, we will find an individualized plan that will.
Western Wisconsin Health believes that lifestyle change is fundamental to overall health, so the program has been designed to be accessible to all patients. Unlike similar programs which you pay for out of pocket, our Simple Health team and group visits are covered by your insurance as primary care visits.
To learn more about the Simple Health program or to schedule your first appointment please call Western Wisconsin Health at 715-684-1111. Building a healthier tomorrow~TOGETHER.