3 Steps For A Healthy 2020

It’s a new year… and if you’re like most Vineyarders, you’ve made at least one resolution about staying healthier in 2020.

Here are three steps you can take toward keeping that resolution:

Step 1: Schedule Your Annual Check-Up

Patients can get a head-start on a healthy 2020 by booking your annual check-up at Island Health Care. Not sure how to do that or what you’ll need to do?

To make an appointment, call the front desk at (508) 939-9358.

Whether you’re a new patient or a current patient, click here to learn more about what you’ll need when you make your appointment, what you’ll need to do before your appointment, first visit tips, and what to do if you need a referral to another provider or facility.

Step 2: Attend A Wellness Clinic

While an in-person check-up with your primary care provider is by far the best way to kick off a healthy 2020, IHC has a number or resources to help you stay disease- and injury-free this year.

In particular, our Public Health Nurses are excited for another year of wellness clinics at all of our island locations! This year, each clinic will focus on a different health-related topic, often linked to a national awareness campaign.

Here’s what you can expect for the first three months of 2020:

  • JANUARY: Understanding Cholesterol. At this month’s wellness clinic, we’ll share information on lifestyle and diet related changes that can affect cholesterol levels. Cholesterol screenings will be offered.
  • FEBRUARY: Go Red For Women. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Information on women’s heart health will be available.
  • MARCH: National Nutrition Month. Celebrated each year during March, focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for National Nutrition Month 2020 is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.”

Step 3: Get A Cholesterol Screening

High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms.

The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked—which you can do at this month’s wellness clinics!

Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called “lipoproteins.” Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:

  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called “plaque.” As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing blocks blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.

Cholesterol can be a confusing health topic for a lot of people, but understanding and managing high blood cholesterol is an important step in taking control of heart health. Talk with your family and health care team about high cholesterol and heart health.

These questions can help you start conversations about cholesterol.

{SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention}

Stay Informed

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At this time, Island Health Care is not able to see walk-in patients.

If you are already a primary care patient of IHC and need to be seen right away, please call us at 508-939-9358 and we will do our best to schedule you for a same- or next-day appointment. Please do not show up at the clinic without a scheduled appointment.

If you are not currently a patient of IHC, you may submit a new patient packet and we will contact you to schedule a new patient appointment. If you require walk-in/same day care, please go to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Emergency Room.