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  • Writer's pictureThe Hammonton Gazette

Winter wellness care: Staying healthy with AtlantiCare


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As the New Year begins, resolutions often focus on healthier living, such as improved eating habits, increased exercise, and weight management. However, one often overlooked aspect is the importance of having a professional healthcare partner. Here are three essential guidelines to help you achieve your health and wellness goals for the New Year while ensuring proper care for illnesses and injuries.


No. 1 Establish and Maintain a Relationship with a Primary Care Provider


Primary care providers play a vital role in treating and preventing illnesses. Each visit offers an opportunity to work toward consistent healthcare services that can prevent severe health issues and promote long-term well-being.


Scheduling and attending regular appointments as recommended by your primary care provider is essential. These visits will help you stay up-to-date with vaccinations and receive appropriate health screenings based on your age and risk factors. If you require specialist care, your primary care provider will make a referral and oversee your treatment in collaboration with the specialist.


Don’t let winter weather or a busy schedule deter you from attending primary care appointments. AtlantiCare offers various appointment options to accommodate your lifestyle and schedule. Many providers now offer telehealth appointments, allowing you to meet with your trusted AtlantiCare healthcare provider in real-time from the comfort of your location. If your specific primary care provider is unavailable, AtlantiCare has dedicated providers through a Virtual Program that are available for appointments seven days a week.


No. 2 Prioritize Timely Healthcare


Common statements like “It’s just a cold,” “I’ve had bronchitis before, I’ll recover,” or “I slipped on the ice; it’s probably just a sprain” often lead to delaying medical care during the winter. Unfortunately, procrastinating seeking medical attention can result in more severe conditions.


It’s important to seek care immediately when experiencing illnesses or injuries. In cases of symptoms that could indicate a life-threatening condition, such as a stroke, heart attack, or severe allergic reaction, call 9-1-1 immediately.


Familiarize yourself with the locations of your nearest urgent care centers. This will enable you to access professional care for non-life-threatening situations close to home and as quickly as possible. You can also use AtlantiCare’s “Hold My Spot” service, which allows you to reserve your place in line at your chosen AtlantiCare urgent care center, reducing your wait time and ensuring timely care.


No. 3 Choose the Appropriate Level of Care


Understanding where to seek care based on the type and severity of the illness or injury is crucial. Here’s a concise breakdown:


• Primary Care: Your go-to source for managing your healthcare, including annual physicals, routine screenings, vaccinations, medication refills, managing colds, flu, anxiety, and depression.


• Primary Care Virtual Care: Ideal for same-day appointments seven days a week when your primary care provider is unavailable. Common reasons for using this service include colds, coughs, sinus issues, rashes, urinary tract infections, allergies, and insect bites.


• Urgent Care: Designed for immediate care of non-life-threatening conditions seven days a week. Seek care here for issues like broken bones, sprains, colds, strep throat, cuts requiring stitches, foreign body removal, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and urinary tract infections.


• Emergency Department: Reserved for immediate care of life-threatening conditions.

Reasons to seek emergency care include fever in a child under three months, chest pain, shortness of breath, sudden numbness, weakness, or speech difficulties, coughing or vomiting blood, trauma with uncontrolled bleeding, and mental health crises.


AtlantiCare encourages everyone in our community to follow these guidelines to maintain optimal health throughout the winter and beyond. To learn more about AtlantiCare’s primary care, telehealth, urgent care, and emergency services, please visit our website at atlanticare.org or call us at 1-888-569-1000. Your well-being is our priority, and we are here to support you on your journey to a healthier life.


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