A new St. Luke’s clinic aims to make it easier for men to access comprehensive care. The St. Luke’s Men’s Health Clinic focuses on male patients because men are more likely to ignore preventive health measures that, if left unaddressed, can lead to more serious problems, according St. Luke’s urologist Dr. Robert Jackson.
“If you look at the health of men and women in the United States, men die younger and there is a much higher percentage of men affected by all types of deaths, accidents, heart attacks and lung disease. A large part of that is because men do a poorer job of taking care of themselves,” Dr. Jackson said.
When Dr. Jackson sees a patient, it is usually because that person wants to address a urologic issue. But when there are other issues discovered during the visit (such as high blood pressure), the patient needs to see another provider to receive treatment. The purpose of the clinic is to work in conjunction with St. Luke’s Clinic – Family Medicine, located across the hall from the new Men’s Health Clinic, to offer more opportunities for men to get the care they need.
Statistics show that men are less likely than women to see a primary care provider, and often men wait until a medical issue has advanced before seeing a provider for help.
”They come in and see us, but the fact of the matter is that in addition to seeing a urologist they really need to see a primary care physician who can take a comprehensive look at everything,” Dr. Jackson said.
Located at Portico East in Meridian, the clinic celebrates its grand opening in late January.
Following similar models throughout the country, it functions on the general concept that there is no wrong way to access care. This clinic represents a new access point, according to Dr. Terry Ribbens, division medical director for St. Luke’s Clinic – Family Medicine.
“From a patient standpoint they think they are going into another clinic, and they are, but from a staff standpoint there is more coordination and collaboration,” Dr. Ribbens said.
The men’s health center concept can be found throughout the United States, including the University of Washington, University of Utah and Oregon University Health Sciences Center. Some men’s health clinics are run by urologists, but this clinic is a partnership between urology and family medicine and broadens the range of referrals in order to help more people, Dr. Ribbens explained.
“The men’s health center can be a large referral source into primary care. We tend to ignore our own health. When these urologic problems come up it may be a manifestation of something else going on,” Dr. Ribbens said. “We’re just trying to make that collaboration better so we can make our patient care more seamless.”
Chereen Langrill was formerly a communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System.