We all take trips to the doctor’s office when we’re sick, but what about when we’re well—even if our annual checkup isn’t due? That’s exactly what patients of the Open Door Family Medical Centers can do in Port Chester and Ossining, now that Open Door has instituted a wellness program.
The We Can! Wellness Program features seminars, workshops, and exercise classes like Zumba, tai chi, yoga, or a circuit blast at little to no cost right at a no-frills space in the clinic. Patient advocates help patients—children, families, or people at risk for chronic diseases—set wellness goals and walk them through the available resources, from on-site nutritionists to physical therapy. Patients’ participation can be recorded in their electronic medical records so a doctor can follow their progress.
“[As a patient], I’m happy to get a prescription when I have an earache or a stomachache, but that’s such a short-term fix,” says Open Door’s president and CEO, Lindsay Farrell, MBA, FACMPE. “We need to use our care providers really effectively and, as patients, we need to be working with them in a new way. Most of healthcare doesn’t happen in the exam room. It happens at home and it happens in the community, and [Open Door wants] to encourage people to keep that on top of mind.”