Health and Wellness - Helping your clinic help you

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health

The healthcare professionals at your clinic do their best to assess and treat problems they identify. Their challenge is that they only see you in the clinic, so they don’t know about other factors in your life that are compromising your health.

Factors such as money problems, strained relationships, transportation or safety concerns all influence your health. These are the social determinants of health. For instance, you have missed or been late for several appointments at your clinic, and the staff is irritated with you, thinking you’re “noncompliant.” What they don’t know is that your vehicle is in poor condition and sometimes doesn’t start. Or for instance you recently separated from your spouse and haven’t been eating well. The medical staff only observes your weight change and talks to you about nutrition and exercise.

You can ask the clinic to refer you to Dallas County Health Navigation, a free service that can help you connect with resources and services related to the social determinants of health. The Health Navigators can meet you in your home, thus getting the whole picture. After connecting you with the right help, your Health Navigator will report back to your clinic about the solutions you chose. Call Health Navigation at 515-993-3750.