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This Father’s Day give the patriarch in your family the gift of good health. Encourage or schedule an annual appointment with his primary care physician. The visit may seem unnecessary to men who are feeling well but a yearly visit and physical could turn out to be a life-saving decision.

“Men of all ages should have health screenings every year,” said Catholic Health Ambulatory Care at Lake Success Primary Care Physician Joel John, DO. “The purpose of these visits is to check for medical issues, assess the possible risk for developing any future problems, make sure all screenings are current and encourage a healthy lifestyle.”

During a check-up, primary care physicians screen for a host of potential health issues and any abnormalities in vital signs. They also review the importance of regular screenings such as colon and prostate cancer exams and discuss family health history.

“Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are all strong contributors to a multitude of medical problems, but don’t come with warning signs,” he said. “The only way to identify and make sure these and other health conditions don’t lead to bigger problems is to be screened annually and then make the necessary lifestyle changes.”

Doctors are concerned that many may have delayed their annual health screenings because of COVID-19. With cases declining and many people vaccinated, Dr. John encourages men to schedule a visit with their primary care physician.

“A big issue with the pandemic is that some people have been coping with COVID through bad habits that could potentially increase their risks for serious medical problems,” he said. “Those still concerned about COVID should check with their doctors to see what precautions are in place. Also, a telehealth appointment could be another option.”

Dr. John noted that multidisciplinary facilities such as Catholic’s Health’s Ambulatory Care at Lake Success allow patients to easily meet with a primary care physician and have quick access to specialists such as an endocrinologist, if needed.

The Lake Success office, which opened in February, is one of several Catholic Health Ambulatory Care practices across Long Island. It offers services including primary care, gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology.

Ambulatory Care at West Babylon opened in 2020 and includes primary care, cardiology, endocrinology and physical and occupational therapy. The new Ambulatory Care at Patchogue opened in May and currently includes a primary care physician and an orthopedist. A cardiologist, endocrinologist and pediatrician will be joining the practice for additional patient convenience.

Additionally, St. Francis Hospital Ambulatory Services in East Hills specializes in procedures, including orthopedic surgery, enabling patients to return home the same day. Ambulatory Care in Commack offers a multitude of services including cardiology, diagnostic imaging, orthopedics, primary care, rehabilitation, weight loss surgery and women’s health.

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