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The Benefits of Establishing an Ongoing Relationship with Your Harbor Health Team

February 13, 2024
3 minutes
The Benefits of Establishing an Ongoing Relationship with Your Harbor Health Team

Most people wait until they don’t feel well to go to a doctor, but establishing a relationship with a medical clinician when you’re not sick may allow you to optimize your health to its fullest. We help our members shift their mindset about that relationship and offer them not just one provider, but an entire health team surrounding them with care at all times, even when they’re well.

“Most people have a reactive mindset versus a proactive one when it comes to health,” says Harbor Health board-certified family nurse practitioner Jennifer Umanzor. “They make appointments when they’re sick and not feeling well. Educating members on the importance of how they view their health is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and changing the script to encourage a proactive health approach.”

Our clinicians take their time getting to know members on their first appointment, learning about their lifestyles, behaviors, and barriers to health. Our providers not only offer a complete physical exam and health screenings on that first visit, but they also want to truly begin a relationship with you, collaborating and working toward your health goals.

“All visits should include some time for the clinician to really get to know the person,” says family nurse practitioner Diane Plas. “We want to know about the person’s family and home environment, what they do for a living, and their hobbies. We will review any specialty care they have received in the past year so that we can make sure we are coordinating their care.”

Once that relationship is established, the clinician is better prepared to handle most health concerns that may arise. When the provider knows the person’s health history well, they can pick up on subtle changes in a person’s physical or mental state. They can better coordinate a client’s care and suggest treatments and medications that best suit that person.

“A benefit to establishing a relationship with your clinician when you are feeling well is that when you are not feeling well, the clinician already knows you and can focus on your acute ailment,” says Umanzor. “It makes for a smooth visit when you don’t feel well and all the details of your health have already been addressed.”

Harbor Health Teams Work Alongside Clients to Co-create Health

At Harbor Health, your health team may be made up of primary care physicians, specialists, physician assistants, nurses, nurse assistants, family nurse practitioners, health coaches, care coordinators, and pharmacists all working to support you on your health journey. At every stop along the journey, with every health concern that arises or every health goal that is set, our team sticks with you and never sends you off to another provider or pharmacy without following up with you.

“We have so many tools available to develop and maintain these relationships,” says Plas. “We have a proactive staff and providers who reach out to people to educate them on their health and wellbeing. We contact clients by phone, text, and through our portal so they know we are accessible to them.”

One way our team continues that connection to clients is through the care of our health coaches. They provide touchpoints with people sometimes weekly via phone or virtual meetings. The health coaches may check in with you about a nutrition or exercise plan or how a new medication is working for you.

Our goal is to empower you to be at the center of your health through better care and knowable costs, and it all begins with establishing a relationship with your Harbor Health clinician and team.

Marcia Miller

Marcia Miller

Chief Marketing Officer

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