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Clinics Offer Range of Primary Care Services

June 12, 2012

Regular Screenings and Checkups Can Prevent Disease

Getting regular medical care from a physician who knows you is important for maintaining good health, according to Dr. Shelli Bodnar, a family physician who practices at the Warm Springs Clinic in Fremont. She is a member of the Washington Township Medical Foundation and the Washington Hospital medical staff.

"Having a medical home or regular place of care means you can get more consistent care by people who know your medical history," she said. "A primary care provider can help you get regular screenings and checkups so you can stay healthy."

Primary care is a term used for a health care provider who acts as a first point of consultation for patients and can also provide continuing care. Fortunately for Tri-City residents, the Washington Township Medical Foundation has three clinics that provide primary care services to people of all ages: the Warm Spring Clinic, Newark Clinic, and Nakamura Clinic.

"At the Warm Springs Clinic, we see adults we have been treating since they were children," Bodnar said. "Many of our patients have been coming here for years. We provide health care services to people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly."

The clinics offer a number of preventive services, including vaccinations, health screenings, and physical exams. Vaccinations can help to prevent diseases like measles, whooping cough, influenza, pneumonia, and shingles.

"We provide vaccinations for children and adults," Bodnar said. "We also work with patients to make sure they have regular cancer screenings, which can significantly reduce the chances of getting cancer."

Mammograms detect changes in breast tissue that could be cancerous. A colonoscopy can detect microscopic polyps in the colon and rectum before they become cancerous. Screenings for prostate and cervical cancer can help to prevent those cancers.

"We offer routine gynecological services, so women can get their pap tests and annual exams at the clinics," she added. "While we don't deliver babies, we provide pediatric care for children of all ages, including newborns."

Get a Checkup

Bodnar said children should have a physical exam every year to ensure they are experiencing healthy growth and development and are on track with their immunizations. Adults over the age of 50 should also have an annual exam, she said.

"The risk for chronic diseases and other health issues starts to increase at age 50," she added. "Getting a checkup every year can help you stay on top of some of the risk factors. You should get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked as well as your blood sugar levels."

While physicians at the three clinics can treat a wide range of medical conditions, sometimes it's necessary to see a specialist. Clinic doctors can refer patients to some of the best specialists in the area, according to Bodnar.

"The Washington Township Medical Foundation has top quality specialists in just about every area of medicine," she added. "Physicians and specialists within the Washington Township Medical Foundation work together as a team, consulting with each other and providing comprehensive care to our patients."

The clinics also offer urgent care services for patients who need immediate care for illnesses or minor injuries. These services are provided on a walk-in basis.

"Urgent care services are for when you come down with a bad cold, fall off a ladder, or cut yourself," Bodnar said. "But if you have a life-threatening illness or injury, you should go to the Washington Hospital emergency room."

The Newark Clinic is located at 6236 Thornton Avenue in Newark, the Warm Springs Clinic is at 46690 Mohave Drive in Fremont, and the Nakamura Clinic is at 33077 Alvarado Niles Road in Union City. All three clinics are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about primary cares services offered through the Washington Township Medical Foundation and a list of locations, visit www.mywtmf.com.