This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on preventive health. Maria Catrina D. Jaime, MPH, CPH, research coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, discussed the importance of prevention for overall health and well-being.
EB: Good morning, Catrina. It is so nice to sit down and talk again. I’m interested in learning more about what exactly preventive health means. I think for many of us it can be a little bit confusing.
MCDJ: It’s wonderful to talk with you again, Ms. Bush. I certainly agree—preventive health includes a wide range of services and behaviors that can improve your overall health and includes mental, physical and social well-being. Some services are cancer screenings, like mammograms and colonoscopies, and vaccinations against diseases, like polio, measles or even a seasonal flu shot. Other types of preventive services are babies and children having well-visits with a doctor or a woman’s visit with her gynecologist. They can be counseling services or health coaches that support people of many ages with quitting smoking or learning how to eat healthier foods. Depending on your age and insurance coverage, different services are provided. Many times these are covered at no cost to the individual.
EB: That’s a really helpful explanation. It seems then that preventive health is very broad. I know I try to schedule all these types of visits with my health care provider. Do a lot of people use these services?