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A Clinic for Your Family and Doctors Who Care

April 10, 2012

Family Physician Discusses Important Issues for Your Family

To stay healthy—and keep family members healthy—the average person has a lot to think about. This includes things like prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vaccinations, diet, exercise, and ever-changing recommendations from various health care agencies.

Fortunately for Newark residents, there’s someone to help you do that. It’s your family physician, according to Barbara Kostick, M.D., a board-certified family medicine physician at Newark Clinic.

“Every patient deserves a place where they can come to receive quality health care, and Newark Clinic offers this in a very soothing, nice atmosphere,” she says. “In health care, we are so complicated in what we do for patients these days, and there needs to be an advocate to help patients understand the system. A good example is when drugs that are prescribed by one doctor interact with a prescription from another doctor. That’s something I caught just the other day.”

Dr. Kostick, who has practiced medicine in the Tri-City area since 1978, says she has a vested interest in the community’s health and wellness.

“I love caring for all types of patients, and I enjoy seeing patients from day one to year 101,” she says. “Now I’m actually seeing patients who I cared for as children come into the clinic with their own children. It’s wonderful to be able to do that.”

Dr. Kostick says an important element of providing patients with the best care possible is to regularly update her knowledge base as a physician.

“Board certification is important as a physician, and it’s important to ask your doctor if they are currently certified,” she explains. “To be recertified, a physician needs to take exams and stay up with the newest and latest medical trends and information that’s out there—and that’s important to better patient care.

 “I’ve taken the board four times to stay current in my practice, and every time it has improved my knowledge and how I care for my patients.”

Likewise, information in the medical community is constantly changing, and for patients, Dr. Kostick says the best way to stay on top of issues like immunization schedules for children and adults is to talk to their family physician.

“Immunizations in primary care are very important, and it’s critical to keep up with changes to vaccination schedules,” she says. “For instance, the shingles vaccine recommendation recently moving from age 60 to age 50. I also talk to patients about the whooping cough epidemic and the vaccine, which comes with their tetanus shot. However, they need to get that particular shot, which they may not realize.”

Dr. Kostick adds that she strives to get all children in her practice immunized against the flu each year, and points out that there is also the nasal flu vaccine (FluMist®) for those between the ages of 2 and 49.

“Things are constantly changing in health care—new medications available, immunization schedules—and the information from your family doctor is more valuable than surfing the Internet,” she says.

Dr. Kostick takes patient education so seriously that she has served as the anchor for Washington Hospital’s InHealth Channel (Comcast channel 78) since its inception.

“Anytime we do an educational program for the InHealth channel, I have to read and understand so much to make sure that every nugget of knowledge is accurate and scientifically based before it reaches our audience,” she says. “The process makes me re-learn and make sure it’s right. However, the best part of being a community educator is being able to choose topics I think are important for our community, and I believe that having a long-term connection to the community does give me a leg up.”

After practicing for so long in Fremont, Dr. Kostick adds she’s very happy to call Newark Clinic home.

“Just being called Newark Clinic really focuses it on this particular area of the Tri-City area,” she says. “We have our own education center here, and we will continue to develop the Newark flavor of educational programs brought to the center. For me, it’s wonderful to be associated with a small town and to focus on Newark.

“As a clinic, we meet with business owners. We also held the Chamber of Commerce mixer here, we have lunch at different restaurants in the area, and we’ve met a great florist here. I’ve always enjoyed a small town atmosphere—like Fremont was when I first started practicing here in 1978.”

Newark Clinic offers family medical care and urgent care services Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and walk-ins are welcome. The clinic is located at 6236 Thornton Avenue in Newark. To make an appointment, call (510) 248-1860.

Your health care, your way

For more information about Washington Township Medical Foundation and its more than 60 board-certified physicians with expertise in a broad range of medical specialties—from neurosurgery to pediatrics—visit www.mywtmf.com.

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