By Frank Lewis
Dr. Dana Beck, Nurse Practitioner, located at Smith Pharmacy at 19 Bennett Street in South Webster says, contrary to what some people believe, your primary care physician or nurse practitioner can handle many of your medical needs.
“I think that a lot of people are confused in our area and think that they have to have a specialist to handle their diabetes,” Beck said. “But their primary care provider is able to manage that relief process for them.”
Beck said the term “primary” means dealing with the first stage of an illness but they are more than that. Beck said it is important for everyone to have a primary care physician or nurse practitioner.
“They are there and they help navigate the complicated health care system we have today,” Beck said. “We seek to provide care to the whole mind, body and soul and focus on prevention and being very proactive versus reactive.”
Beck said, when the primary care giver looks at a patient’s health they look at the contributing factors and lifestyle as well as their mental health, genetics and to change the things that can be changed.
“Oftentimes patients are affected by some type of pathology or disease stage such as diabetes,” Beck said. “That’s where we get into the primary care provider really is trained to handle these disease processes and patients believe that they have to go to a specialist or outside of our small community and travel a couple of hours to a bigger city in order to find a specialist. But I want our community to know that I’m giving advanced diabetic care right here in our office in South Webster.”
Beck said the percentages of the population with diabetes are ever changing.
“I do know that about two or three years ago the national percentage of diabetes was at around 9 to 10 percent,” Beck said. “But ours has doubled in this area and part of that is because of lifestyle and our socioeconomic status here and poor knowledge and poor access to care and I want to change that.”
Beck said there is something different about her.
“I’m really aggressive with diabetic care,” Beck said. “There was a study that showed that a lot of primary care providers would see a patient for up to a year before they did anything, they made a change to their care that they delivered even when they saw the level of the severity of their hypoglycemia and that it would take them a year to make a change or to refer out to a specialist.”
Beck is in the process of changing that scenario.
“I think that it’s really important for the patient to understand that I’m going to be very aggressive and proactive,” Beck said. By her treatment methods, she says she has hope that their condition will not convert to diabetes.
“If they are diabetic then I’ll be very aggressive with their disease management so that we can achieve optimal health and prevent long term chronic disease like heart disease and kidney disease,” Beck said. “I have patients that end up in renal failure that are on dialysis, blindness, etc. It is really debilitating. All of those chronic diseases play into each other and we treat all of those here.” That is why Beck wants potential patients to know they can monitor their hemoglobin A1C, their progress and subsequent outcome. She said patients should know that neither she nor her staff judge patients, understanding that the habits patients form are sometimes difficult to change, but her office is determined to help educate those same people and encourage them.
Beck said she likes her location because she is located on the outskirts of Scioto Count which makes her practice accessible to the residents of Oak Hill and Jackson.
Beck said she is in the process of taking new patients and appointments can be made by calling 740-778-1020 or 1021.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.