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Caring is the Emphasis of MemberCare

If you watch television or listen to radio, you know it is open enrollment season for health insurance. All the ads for health plans talk about coverage. Let’s be clear: coverage is a card in your wallet. Healthcare is access to a doctor when you need one. When someone enrolls with CHC, what do they have; care or coverage?

MemberCare focus is health care: CARING for the WHOLE PERSON.

 

What do you have when you have MemberCare?

Cost Savings:
Any parent knows that sooner or later one of the kids will need a doctor. Before joining CHC, the Berger family (not their real name) had taken their rambunctious 8-year-old son to the emergency room two separate times to get stitches resulting from falls, costing them $2,000 each time. Joining CHC didn’t slow down their son, but mom and dad didn’t have to spend another $2,000 the third time he fell and needed stitches. Their CHC membership provided for an after-hours visit to get him sewn up, with no additional cost. The $2,000 savings for this one incident is nearly the cost of MemberCare for a family for an entire year.

Access:
As a CHC member, you have your doctor’s cell phone and email. When you get sick, are traveling out-of-state and develop a mysterious rash or develop symptoms of illness, you can directly connect with your doctor. Many times, your doctor can take care of your needs without the hassle of an office visit. If you need to be seen by your doctor, we do everything in our power to provide a timely visit. If you need an hour with your doctor, you can get an hour with your doctor. There may even be times when the doctor needs to come to you.

Recently, the daughter of a CHC family who lives more than 100 miles from the Center needed to be seen by a doctor, but her parents could not make the trip to Grand Rapids. Our pediatrician was vacationing near the family’s home, so she made a home visit, providing tremendous relief for mom and daughter. We cannot always guarantee one of our doctors will be able to make a house call, but we do our best when needed.

Advocates:
MemberCare means having someone who knows the healthcare system and can navigate it on your behalf. One example is a CHC member whose self-breast exam discovered a lump. She contacted the office and was told to come right in to the office to be seen. Her CHC physician did an ultrasound and confirmed there was a suspicious lump, which led to our patient advocate, Marisa, contacting the top breast cancer surgeon in West Michigan.  Our patient was able to be seen the very next day (usually takes weeks). A biopsy was performed during this visit (almost never happens), a pathology report revealed the lump to be malignant, so surgery was scheduled for five days later (rarely happens that fast). The member did not have to make any calls to facilitate her treatment; Marisa handled it all on her behalf. We do the calling, price negotiating and scheduling so you don’t have to.

Intercessors:
Our care-giving is not limited to providing medical services. Some people are physically well, but their quality of life and wellbeing is being disrupted by other concerns that, if left alone, will ultimately have a negative impact on health. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Our doctors do not limit their attention to your physical needs. They don’t rush out of the exam room once the medical stuff is done. They don’t just treat diseases or organs; they care for people. Their concern extends beyond the physical needs of members. They want to keep you at your best, not simply see you at your worst. They take the time to listen to what is most important to you. Praying with you, sharing biblical principles, encouraging you and even on occasion scolding you for making some wrong choices is all part of caring for you. Without disclosing personal information, the CHC staff prays for members. That is part of being an advocate for you and your family.

Family:
We want MemberCare to feel more like having a doctor in the family than mere professional relationship. That may strike you as odd, given the hurried pace of modern medicine and waiting rooms crammed with sick people waiting to be seen. We strive to know everyone in the family and to make each office visit feel like the doctor is caring for a family member, not just another patient. We haven’t “arrived” by any means, but member comments like the following suggest we’re making progress:

“I feel like our whole family is known, loved and cared for personally, from the moment we walk in the door and greet the receptionists, to the friendly nurse taking vitals, to the doctor who never seems rushed, and through to the check-out process. After the first appointment, the word we keep using about this model of healthcare is “refreshing.”

 

Article by:  Mark Blocher, CEO and Founder

A Guide for Supporting Your Body with the Right Supplements

Most people lead busy lives, and this is just one of the reasons health issues are on the rise today. A lack of sleep and little time to exercise or prepare nutritious meals means that adding supplements to your diet could help get you the nutrients you need. Genetics, health history, and other lifestyle factors can also play a part in the type of supplements we need to feel our best. The science behind supplementing and healthy dieting lies not only in external factors but also our cells. Here are some healthy supplements to include in your diet to make taking on every day less of a challenge.

Vitamin D

This vitamin has the ability to change the way that your genes function and helps to boost your immune system so foreign chemicals and harmful substances can’t damage your organs. We get vitamin D naturally from the sun. However, if you live in an area that doesn’t get lots of sunlight or you spend most of your time indoors, taking vitamin D in supplement form can prove helpful. Between 45-70 ng/mL is recommended to keep your bones strong and protect your immune system.

 

Zinc

Zinc is a natural mineral that works to fight off the flu and the common cold and is also used to stabilize brain function for a balanced mood. Your body also needs zinc for proper digestion, since this mineral works to release gastric acid. Zinc supplements can also help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. You can take zinc as part of a multi-vitamin or take the mineral alone after a meal.

 

Glutamine

If you suffer from food allergies, this could be due to a lack of glutamine. Glutamine helps to repair the linings of the stomach and intestines and is used by the cells in your intestines to ensure that you process your food thoroughly. The supplement also helps to you maintain lean muscle mass, which is necessary to help your body efficiently use energy and manage your weight.

 

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to conditions like ADD and ADHD, chronic fatigue, and muscle pain. Your body may also not have enough magnesium if you have digestive issues and your intestines have not been able to properly absorb all the nutrients in your food. This is especially true if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Taking about 400 mg of magnesium in supplement form each day can help to stabilize your mood, improve digestion, and boost your energy.

 

Your body only works with what you fuel it with. If you feel a lack of energy or have other issues you think could be solved with supplementing, talk to your doctor and get advice based on your medical history and genetics.
Resources:

https://wholelifenutrition.net/articles/gluten-free/right-vitamins-supplements-replenish-your-body

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-982/zinc

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-benefits-of-glutamine.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASEA_(American_company)

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

Making Wellness Resolutions that Stick

This is the time of year where we get a chance to make a fresh start, with a new year. A clean slate to write on what we want and dream ourselves to be. Psychology Today reports that the top two New Year’s Resolutions are quitting smoking and decreasing alcohol consumption, other sources site losing weight, getting organized, and getting fit through regular exercise. The sad, and not so shocking truth, is that most people fail at keeping these commitments long term. Within one week 22% fail to keep their resolutions, 40% after 1 month, and half after 3 months. In fact only 1 out of 5 people who make New Year’s Resolutions keep them for long term, and truly make it a life style change.
What is the reason for this dismal performance as a society? We have all the resources, and information, literally at our finger tips, yet still we often fail. We can access online support groups, look up healthy recipes on Pinterest, do free workout classes on YouTube, but still Americans are among the most unhealthy and overweight in the world. If it is not lack of information, or access to resources, then what is the problem we face? Psychology Today states the top 3 reasons are
  • Vague and Unclear Goals
  • Failure to Gauge Progress
  • and Weak self-control or self-regulation.
We at Christian Healthcare Centers are committed to Whole-Person Focused care and Community-Building. Our philosophy is promoting lifestyle change, not dieting, or short-lived programs. We believe that we have been given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and that we must spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). To that end, in 2018 CHC is holding monthly CHC Wellness Club meetings as a community of health minded people that want to make lasting change in the course of their lives and health. We hope that these sessions will be the extra encouragement and accountability, that we all need to overcome our weak self-control, and make progress toward the abundant life that Jesus talked about in John 10:10.
Meetings will be held the first Wednesday evening of each month, with the first being held this Wednesday, January 3rd here at the Christian Healthcare Centers building on East Beltline Court in Northeast Grand Rapids. The sessions start at 5pm, but there is an optional weigh-in portion that people can come for at 4:30pm for those who want to track their progress. This is offered as a FREE service to our members, but those who aren’t signed up for CHC membership are welcome to join as well for a $10 per session fee. Sessions include a brief educational portion at the beginning, and then will mainly focus on a round table discussion of the challenges, victories, and failures that we all face in trying to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information you can email Alex Corcoran at acorcoran@chcenters.org.

Philosophy of Wellness

 

Christian Healthcare Centers provides a distinctive approach to the promotion of wellness and the provision of health care. We are an unapologetically Christian, Christ-centered and patient-focused collaborative community.

God Heals – We Help

As Creator, God is the most knowledgeable being to deal with sickness, disease and death. We affirm that God can heal with or without a physician. With this in mind, we include prayer among the resources we bring to bear on the needs of patients.

Wellness, not Disease Management

Since we believe each person is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), CHC providers are devoted to enhancing wellness of the whole person. We do not treat patients as a collection of organ systems or merely natural processes, but as whole beings.

Spiritual Care is Essential to Wellness

Spiritual health is an essential component of a person’s total wellness. Using medical interventions to compensate for immoral actions is, at best, a temporary solution. We believe spiritual disciplines (e.g., prayer, engagement with Scripture, active participation in a local church, applying biblical principles regarding marriage/family, finances, relationships, vocation) are essential for a person to experience their optimum overall wellness in mind, body and spirit.

Access to Health Care

As a non-profit Christian ministry, we make every effort to ensure that members have access to high-quality wellness services by controlling costs, minimizing administrative overhead and exercising good stewardship of medical resources. Our MemberCare Assistance Program is designed to help low-income individuals and families sustain their CHC membership to ensure uninterrupted and unencumbered access to our services. Ten percent of gross revenue is dedicated to our MemberCare Assistance Program.

Best Practices – Best Research – Innovative

CHC is an integrated collaborative community of Christian wellness providers. We employ or refer to physicians, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, physical therapists, nutritionists, counselors, fitness coaches and other allied wellness professionals to ensure members have access to state of the art resources. We are committed to integrating into our wellness services the best practices and standards of care available, whether from scientific research, clinical practice, professional experience, biblical teaching or other sources of knowledge. We use the best diagnostic and treatment protocols available, and our practitioners are committed to continuing their professional development through continuing medical education, conferences, professional journals and online resources.

Communication with Members

We strive to engage in open and honest communication with our members. We will protect their personal and medical information in accord with all relevant laws and biblical ethics. We will not disclose personal or confidential medical information to any third party unless authorized by the member, under subpoena or search warrant.

Transparency and Accountability

As a Christian ministry, we strive to be transparent with members. Financial information will be provided on our website or upon demand. We engage independent certified public accountants to audit our finances and produce an annual report to members and the federal government. The Board of Directors approves compensation and ensures that funds are used exclusively to further the vision, mission and values of the ministry.

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