You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘primary care provider’ or PCP in recent years. A primary care provider is your go-to doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner—the one you regularly see for general health needs. Studies show having a PCP means better management of chronic diseases, fewer emergency visits and hospitalizations and more satisfying care. If you don’t have one, make getting one a priority.
Why you need a primary care provider
“Many people think they don’t need a doctor until they are sick, but if they see their primary care provider regularly and get screens and tests on a regular basis, they might not get sick,” said Dawn Watts, Clinic Manager at Prowers Medical Center.
It takes a provider at least a few visits to understand the picture of your health. If you stick with one provider for years, they get to know your life habits, personal challenges and your family health history.
“When we have regular contact with patients, we see changes happening they may not even be aware of themselves. When we know our patients, we pick up on subtle things that were not there before,” said Dr. Hilton C. Ray with Prowers Medical Center.
PCPs focus on prevention and wellness. Each year, they compare results from lab work, annual exams and health screenings, such as mammograms, pap smears, prostate screens and colonoscopies to check for a change. When they spot one, they help you correct it before it causes trouble.
PCPs care about all aspects of you. They know how emotions, stress, depression and chronic pain can affect your physical body and your overall health and quality of life. PCPs help manage your chronic diseases, arming you with a care plan to keep your disease under control. This helps you avoid serious complications and trips to the emergency room.
Prowers Medical Center has a strong family practice team that also serves as primary care providers for children. Primary care providers at the Clinic include Dr. Rick Ray, Dr. Scott Cameron, Renee Weakly, FNP-C, Meagan Hillman, PA-C, Fidella Brown, FNP-C, Kim Collymore, FNP-C, and Shelby Casper, FNP-C. This is a skilled, collaborative team that is focused on patient health.
OB/GYNs serve women through the years
Dr. Steven Foley, OB/GYN with Prowers Medical Center has played an integral role in developing the women’s health services department at the medical center. He has brought new services and specialized care to the women of our area. These services include treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome, all types of incontinence, abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, menopause treatment with bioidentical hormones, pelvic prolapse and other conditions.
He provides wellness care for women, including screens for breast cancer, cervical cancer, STDs, and other diseases and offers family planning services as part of his role as a primary care provider. He and Dr. Christian Korkis also provide prenatal, labor and delivery care, including high risk pregnancies.
Dr. Foley has also developed a weight loss program available for men, women and teenagers, helping them find success where they hadn’t before.
General Surgeons offer best of the best
General surgeons are trained to perform common surgeries to resolve conditions such as cancer, hernias, appendicitis, gall bladder, colonoscopies, foot problems and more.
Did you know that your local hospital offers the best of the best when it comes to general surgeons? Both Dr. Smith and Dr. Swanson have completed an extensive process to earn the title Fellow of the American College of Surgeons or FACS, a challenge far beyond medical school and training.
“It’s an extensive process that took me about five years after becoming a surgeon to finish. It’s really the crowning step for surgeons in this country,” says Dr. Smith.
“Every surgeon wants to know they are providing excellent care to their patients, and the fellowship tells patients that our peers recognize that ability in us,” says Dr. Swanson.
Dr. Swanson completed additional training in laparoscopic surgery, which allows her to bring a higher level of expertise to her patients. Laparoscopy is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that often provides better patient outcomes with decreased pain, lower risk and fewer complications.
Dr. Smith has extensive experience in trauma surgery, something he practiced frequently as a military surgeon, and puts to use in his roles as a national trauma trainer and at Prowers Medical Center. He shares his talents with residents of Haiti during his annual church trips with his wife, Carrie, and a medical team of 25 including providers from the hospital.
Christine Bogardus, DO, is our newest General Surgeon, joining the medical team at Prowers Medical Center in 2018. She brings strong surgical skills and a good sense of humor to the team. As a resident, Dr. Bogardus served as the Chief Academic Resident and supervised junior residents and medical students.
Dr. Bogardus enjoys rural over urban medicine, and shares Dr. Swanson’s interest in laparoscopic procedures. Her hope is to perform osteopathic manipulative treatments on patients in the future as an adjunct to surgery.
“Osteopathic manipulative treatments can be used to open up the lungs before surgery if a patient has low breathing, or after surgery for swelling in an extremity,” she said.
The Clinic care team, here to serve
Our team of primary and specialty care providers at Prowers Medical Center offers a wide range of talents and personalities for you to choose from. If you don’t have a primary care provider, and it has been a year since your last wellness exam, consider calling and scheduling a wellness exam for yourself and your kids. If you have Medicare, take advantage of the benefit of an annual wellness exam.
To learn more about our services visit our website at prowersmedical.com or call the following Clinics:
Prowers Medical Center Clinic – (719) 336-6767
Women’s Health Services – (719) 336-3179
Surgical Services – (719) 336-7005