Nancy Brooker, an adult nurse practitioner with San Juan Health Partners Aztec, spoke to a group of business leaders about "Creating a Family Medical Home." She made the presentation at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday in the Aztec Schools Administration Building. Brooker joined the clinic in November of last year.
"With the Affordable Care Act, our health care is changing drastically," Brooker said. "The way people are treated today (there is) too much waiting to see a doctor, and too many specialists who don't necessarily know what your situation is and struggle to have access to medical records."
She said the Aztec clinic plans to change that.
As federal legislation unfolds, medical reimbursement for care will be increasingly be pinned to effective delivery of health care to patients. Brooker sees this as another reason to turn to complete-family treatment, a kind of one-stop-shop approach to helping people.
She said she was inspired by Seattle doctor Gordon Moore's experience leaving the security of a salaried position in a busy office for a solo practice that emphasized more meaningful patient care, lower costs and technology that increases access to needed information.
His 2001 essay, "Going Solo: Making the Leap," inspired a nationwide "Ideal Medical Practice" movement that seeks to centralize health care treatment in one place. Brooker said Moore's experience inspires her clinic, though Brooker herself didn't go solo.
The Aztec clinic offers birth-to-death care by Brooker, who specializes in hormone therapy and end-of-life care and Dr. Sugar Singleton Marcy, who specializes in pediatric care. Both are trained in women's care, but the clinic maintains a full-family focus.
"The fractionalization of medical care has undercut patients' care considerably," she said. "We need to have a person who is dedicated to and knows well the family he or she sees."
Poor communication between providers, soaring costs and long wait times to see a provider or specialist, have forced people into emergency rooms or urgent care facilities, costing people in need of treatment regrettable - and avoidable - suffering, she said.
A family seeing the same doctor is the first, best step toward preventative care, Brooker said. "We are trying to increase access. We want to see you when you're sick, not weeks later."
The clinic, which opened in September of 2010, will begin a series called "Women's Health Access" that will be held the first Saturday of the month. The first session is scheduled for 8 a.m. on May 4.
With funding from the Breast and Cervical Cancer Center and San Juan County Health programs, the clinic will offer women 40 and older physicals, including pelvic and clinical breast exams, regardless of whether the individual has health insurance or not.
Walk-ins are welcome and no appointment is necessary, she said.
Sue Rys, co-owner of Crash Music, attended the chamber luncheon and was glad to see a program designed to assist women whether they have medical insurance or not.
"I think it's great," Rys said. "I don't have medical insurance, so an investment in expanding care to women, too, is always good to hear."
The clinic, located in the old post office building at 120 Llano St., can be reached at 505-334-3404.
James Fenton can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4621. Follow him on Twitter @fentondt