Men’s Health adds a key element to its services: primary care providers
Men get a lot of blame for not going to the doctor until they are very ill or their loved ones or children cuddle them enough.
Three years ago, Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute launched its Men’s Health Center in Farmington to curb this habit by creating a comfortable, accessible, male-focused setting where patients can connect with a group integrated by specialists.
In the process, the Tallwood team discovered that many men lacked the most fundamental tool for good health – a primary care provider (PCP). While attending to more specialized needs with experts in cardiovascular, behavioral and urology health at the center, the team also began connecting men with PCPs for ongoing and preventative care.
“Men’s Health was created to meet the unique physical and emotional needs of men, but patients need the consistency that can only be achieved through an established relationship with a primary care provider,” said Dr. Jared Bieniek, medical director of Tallwood Men’s Health. . “Primary care is where diseases like diabetes and even cancer are detected before they become too dangerous. It has become an important part of our mission to also fill this void.
Less than a year after opening, the Tallwood Men’s Health team began tracking the number of referrals to PCPs close to patients’ homes. In 2019, there were 82 references. The number increased to 397 in 2020 and 522 in 2021.
This year, as the team celebrates the program’s third anniversary, Men’s Health will add primary care to the services it offers, including:
- Preventive cardiology.
- Sleep medicine.
- Behavioral health.
- Medical weight loss.
- Bariatric surgery.
Cardiology services will also be expanded with two new providers. A dedicated nurse navigator takes some of the stress out of navigating the healthcare system, partnering with each patient to help arrange appointments and follow-up services.
“Having a diverse group of providers available to treat the many interrelated conditions that men suffer from – such as high blood pressure, weight, sexual function and depression – makes it easier to connect them with the care they need. need,” said Dr. Bieniek. “The nurse navigator is essential, working directly with patients to guide them through every step of the process.”
Tallwood Men’s Health will also expand its unique concept of care to new locations in Waterford and County Fairfield later in 2022.
“This is obviously a need for people in our communities, so we’re going to meet those needs with the range of primary and specialist care services that we have available,” Dr. Bieniek said.