Developing a more appropriate model for primary care requires that we create a new diagnostic algorithm and clinical care model that serves the core of personalized healthcare - the individual. For any model to be successful it must provide the foundation on which to build a system that has the depth and breadth necessary to meet the unique demands of a broad population on a personal level. The core of any new model of primary healthcare need not be redefined or reinvented as the definition presented in the Declaration of Alma-Ata, adopted at the International Conference on Primary Healthcare in 1978, is more than sufficient starting with the section highlighted below.
“Primary healthcare is essential healthcare based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. It forms an integral part both of the country's health system, of which it is the central function and main focus, and of the overall social and economic development of the community. It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and community with the national health system bringing healthcare as close as possible to where people live and work, and constitutes the first element of a continuing healthcare process. .” Declaration of Alma-Ata
Bringing healthcare closer to where people live is as key to the process of developing a new model as any other part of the statement above. Lifestyle diseases (or diseases of longevity) have increased in notable frequency as countries have become more industrialized coupled with the fact that people are living longer. These diseases include Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, chronic renal failure, osteoporosis, stroke, depression and obesity. Of these diseases the WHO notes that heart disease is the leading cause of lifestyle related disease worldwide.
The rate at which this shift has been happening hasn’t gone unnoticed, in fact it has been talked about now for almost 40 years. We can see how the WHO has observed trends within the system and attempted to bring notice of these trends to light via their annual reports. The information below includes select titles of World Health Reports along with a summary of those reports demonstrating the observance of trending needs. The following are summaries from each respected report offering insight as to what trends are being observed over the last two decades.
The reports above provide us with some perspective of the shifting demands worldwide, including an aging population, growing influence of chronic disease, loss of primary care support and the changing needs related to health care strategy. The WHO along with other groups like the Committee on Quality of Health in America (CQHCA) have been documenting, researching and presenting their findings on health care needs for over a decade. The depth and breadth of the issues we face in health care today are clear and the value of this research project is to dig through this information to find what information can be applied more effectively.
Stress is one of the three primary influences of health we seek to address for every program we provide because it plays a role in everyone’s quality of life. Short-term demands of stress can influence how we feel which can influence how we carry ourselves (posture) and can further interfere with how we sleep and eat. Long-term stress can lead to exhaustion and even more substantial experiences with depression and anxiety. At Everspring Health we seek to help you develop and cultivate your mental health program whether it be self directed, lead by us or facilitated by another provider. Many people who come to us don’t feel the need to go to a counselor, but are looking for a space to cultivate a more mindful experience in their daily life, increase energy while seeking long-term relief from the demands that stress imposes on their day. Others come with a clinical diagnosis and treatment plan already in place and we create an integrative program working alongside your current program to support the progress you might already be experiencing.
Creating a balanced, integrative, whole person program begins by examining your past history and along with a series of constitutional diagnostics: some people may have experiences labeled as anxiety that are actually normal despite them not being ideal, some are experiencing discomfort that should not be considered acceptable and others have a little bit of both which often leads to compounding stressors. Integrative diagnostics will help us understand what’s normal for you and what can be improved upon thus leading to a more complete program customized to your needs. We can employ acupuncture and massage, as well as using herbal therapies to help ease stress and get you functioning at peak capacity. We also make sure to examine how your diet and sleep might be affecting your mood because these two components are crucial to a stable, productive mood. With proper diagnosis, patience, and persistence we can help you find long-term solutions to what you’re experiencing and enable you to be in control.