As a CHA patient, our job is to help you feel your best. This includes treating you when you are sick and giving you the support you need to improve or maintain your health. We hope that you find this newsletter useful and hope to get your suggestions on other topics of interest! 

Do you need an annual physical every year?
Laura Sullivan_ MD
Laura Sullivan, MD   
Medical Director,
CHA Malden Family Medicine Center

That's a great question. While most health insurance will pay for an annual physical, like nearly everything in medicine, it really depends on your risk factors and your specific health needs.  
The purpose of an annual physical is to check your health, identify any new or worsening problems and give you what you need to stay healthy. It is the basis of what we call "preventive care."
At CHA, we believe preventive care should be ongoing. Every time you see us, we talk with you about your health and check if you need any immunizations or routine screenings like pap smears or colon cancer screenings. This is key to optimizing your care.
Here are the age-based standards that help determine who should come in and how frequently:
0-18 years
There is a very specific schedule of when children should come in for immunizations or "well child" checks. If you have young children, you will find the schedule here.
18-22 years
Every year
22-49 years
Patients new to CHA should come in for an initial evaluation to establish care with your team. The results allow us to create an individual plan of care and a visit schedule based on your needs.
Current patients should already have a plan of care. But even for our most healthy patients we would love to see you at least once every two years to see how you're doing.
50 and older
Again, this will depend on your individual care plan. Generally, we like to see you for an annual physical every year but at least once every two years.
At CHA, we work as a team to meet your needs and keep you healthy. But the most important member of the team is you. If you feel you need to be seen for a specific health concern, give us a call. If you are feeling healthy (and we hope you are), just set up an annual physical based on the schedule above. If you don't remember the last time you were in, check MyChart or call your CHA care center. 

Why wait to see a surgeon?

"I saw my primary care physician at 11 a.m. and was able to see a CHA surgeon (Dr. Catherine Crawford) the same day at 1:30 p.m. I give my experience with open access a 10. It was great. You made it very easy for me."
- CHA Patient

If you need to see a surgeon or bone/joint specialist, you don't want to wait. That's why CHA offers open access in Surgery and Orthopaedics. You can now get an appointment today, tomorrow or any day that works for you. 
CHA has an incredible team of surgeons who trained at some of the nation's finest hospitals. You can see them for a wide range of needs in General Surgery, Breast Surgery, ENT (ear, nose and throat), Ophthalmology (eye care), Podiatry, Urology, Vascular Surgery, General Orthopedics (bone and joint care) or Sports Medicine.

How do you make an appointment?
Most patients need a referral from their primary care team. Once this is made, you can call us at 617-665-1566 (Orthopaedics) or 617-665-2555 (Surgery) to schedule your visit. Your primary care team may also be able to make an appointment for you before you leave your doctor's office. Just ask. 

Parents - do you need a letter for summer camp or sports leagues?
Most camps and sports leagues need a letter that shows your child is up to date with vaccines and has had a physical exam in the past year (sometimes two years).
Don't wait until it's too late! Just get the form from your league or camp and bring it to your CHA primary care center. We can complete the form in two days and you can pick it up, or we will mail it to you. We can also schedule time for any vaccines if necessary. 
Please note, if your child has had an annual check-up in the past year, your insurance won't pay for a second one. Ask us or call your insurance member services department with questions. 

My Midwifery Experience - Klenda Martinez
Martinez Family
photo credit: AndrewTakesPhotos
"I had a great experience with the midwives at CHA. I knew I wanted a different medical approach to my pregnancy that was more personal and holistic. With Leslie Ludka, all my questions and concerns were answered and she empowered me with the knowledge needed to make certain medical decisions with my partner after each prenatal visit. When it came to the delivery, my choices were respected in terms of the kind of birth I wanted, which was very important to me. I wanted the opportunity for a natural birth with a midwife in a hospital setting. The midwives, nurses and doctors were incredible during my delivery and I was grateful for their expertise and support."

Cambridge Health Alliance
1493 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA
p: 617-665-1000
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