The Value of Preventative Healthcare

by Camrey Tuttle, DNP, FNP-C


In a world where the pace of life seems to be ever-accelerating, taking proactive steps to safeguard our health often takes a backseat to daily responsibilities. However, the old adage “prevention is better than cure” holds true, emphasizing the importance of preventative healthcare in maintaining overall well-being. Among the key pillars of preventative healthcare, annual physical exams play a pivotal role, offering a proactive approach to health management.

The Value of Preventative Healthcare:

Preventative healthcare is a whole-body approach that aims to identify and address potential health issues before they escalate into more serious conditions. Rather than waiting for symptoms to manifest, preventative measures focus on lifestyle choices, screenings, and regular check-ups to mitigate health risks. By adopting a preventative mindset, individuals can significantly reduce the burden of chronic diseases, enhance their quality of life, and potentially extend their lifespan.

Annual Physical Exams: A Foundation for Prevention:

One cornerstone of preventative healthcare is the annual physical exam, a comprehensive health assessment that goes beyond treating existing ailments. These exams are not just reserved for those with chronic conditions or advanced age but are beneficial for individuals of all ages. Here’s why:

  1. Early Detection of Potential Issues:

    Annual physical exams serve as an opportunity for healthcare professionals to detect potential health issues in their early stages. Through screenings, blood tests, and a thorough physical examination, doctors can identify risk factors for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Detecting these issues early allows for timely intervention and improved outcomes.

  2. Personalized Health Planning:

    Each individual is unique, and their health needs vary. Annual physical exams provide a platform for doctors to assess an individual’s specific health profile, considering factors such as current medical problems, age, family history, and lifestyle. Based on this information, healthcare providers can offer personalized advice on nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications to enhance overall health.

  3. Building a Long-Term Relationship with Healthcare Providers:

    Regular visits for annual physical exams foster a long-term relationship between individuals and their healthcare providers. This connection allows for better communication and understanding of the patient’s health history, facilitating more accurate diagnoses and tailored healthcare plans.

  4. Preventing Future Complications:

    By identifying and addressing health concerns early on, annual physical exams help prevent the progression of minor issues into more severe complications. This proactive approach not only improves health outcomes but also reduces the financial and emotional burdens associated with treating advanced diseases.

  5. Promoting Mental Health:

    Annual physical exams aren’t solely focused on the body; they also encompass mental health assessments. Given the interconnectedness of physical and mental well-being, addressing mental health concerns during these exams is crucial. Early detection and intervention for conditions such as depression and anxiety can lead to more effective treatment strategies.


The Healthy Evolution of New Year’s Resolutions

The Gagon family is excited to ring in the New Year! We’ve put together a few recommendations to help you achieve a healthy and positive year!


Donna Mathis

Donna Mathis, FNP-BC, Recommends:

Focusing on Positive Choices

As I move forward into the new year, my thoughts automatically channel into lists of resolutions, goals, and self- improvement. After making my list of lofty aspirations for 2024, I came across my list from 2013. It was the same list!

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise
  • Save money
  • Eliminate stress

I realized that while my previous goals seemed positive when I considered the end result, the process I chose was doomed to fail. Losing weight conjured up memories of endless, perpetual dieting; saving money meant reflexively cutting back on luxuries — but to what end? What was I saving for? Suddenly I felt I had stumbled into what Thoreau referred to as “our lives of quiet desperation” – climbing an endless treadmill towards unattainable goals.

“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal,—that is your success.” – Henry David Thoreau

This year I’ve decided to restructure my resolutions around positive choices with realistic goals. Instead of dieting I want to focus on enjoying healthy and delicious foods. Rather than generic exercise, I want to participate in physical activities and hobbies I actually enjoy, especially with friends and family! I’ve chosen to prioritize my mental through fostering positive relationships, volunteering and practicing gratitude, learning to forgive myself for mistakes, and appreciating loved ones.

Focusing on Positive Choices

Who knows? This year I may finally check a few things off the list!

Another Positive Choice? Blood Pressure Monitoring & Prevention

Hypertension or high blood pressure is the most common reason for office visits and prescription drugs of nonpregnant adults in the United States. Over 50% of people taking medication to control their high blood pressure still do not have adequate control. To help keep your blood pressure under control, stay active, watch your weight, decrease salts and fats in your diet, and quit using tobacco. To monitor your blood pressure at home, follow the steps below.

How To Take Your Blood Pressure by Gagon Family Medicine

Do I have High Blood Pressure?

Use the chart below to determine your blood pressure range.

Blood Pressure Range - Gagon Family Medicine

Happy New Year!

On behalf of everyone at Gagon Family Medicine, we wish everyone a happy and safe New Year!