CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — With flowers in bloom and hope in the spring air, the providers at FourPoints Health are continuing to offer resources to help Southern Utahns make positive lifestyle choices that will benefit their complete wellness.
FourPoints Health is a community health center established with the mission of providing high-quality, affordable health care for both adults and children regardless of insurance status. Preventive and primary medical care, dental care and behavioral health services are available to all patients on an income-based sliding fee scale.
Patients can pay with cash for as low as $20 per visit. Additionally, FourPoints Health provides insurance specialists to help connect patients with coverage either through Medicaid or Healthcare.gov.
Beyond addressing health issues as they arise, Spencer Schmutz, a certified physician assistant at the St. George clinic, said the staff of FourPoints Health also strives to provide preventive care that benefits their patients physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
“We really do a good job of being comprehensive,” he said. “We take into account the whole person.”
Along these lines, Schmutz made several recommendations.
Anything you can do to get your body moving and get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day will benefit your health. Schmutz said the most difficult part of any exercise routine is simply getting started.
For many people, walking is the easiest and most accessible way to get moving. Explore beautiful trails in the area, or just open your front door and start walking around your neighborhood. To keep yourself accountable, Schmutz recommends setting a schedule and finding a walking buddy with whom you can exchange motivational reminders.
The health benefits of vitamin D from sunlight exposure are extensive, including boosting the immune system. Schmutz said sunlight also helps with stress management and improves overall mood.
Southern Utah offers a plethora of opportunities for outdoor fun, from hiking in the parks to playing pickleball. Learn a new sport, go for a bike ride or lounge poolside. Just remember to wear plenty of sunscreen!
Check in for a checkup
Patients are encouraged to stop by FourPoints Health for a yearly checkup to assess overall health. During the appointment, which Schmutz said usually takes less than an hour, the provider will perform a physical exam and general wellness labs, including a complete blood count, thyroid stimulating hormone levels, comprehensive metabolic panel and a lipid panel. These tests measure electrolyte, thyroid hormone and cholesterol levels along with kidney and liver function.
It’s also an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns you may have with the provider and establish a relationship that will benefit you if you need specialty care referrals in the future. Schmutz said that everyone, even if they’re in good health, can benefit from having a primary care provider.
Eat fresh and drink more
If your nutrition suffers, your physical and mental wellness will follow. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet – ideally, five servings a day – by making greens convenient and tasty. Schmutz suggests making a green smoothie with berries or bananas to add sweetness instead of unnatural sugars and trying fruits or vegetables you’ve never tasted before.
Schmutz said drinking plenty of water is also critical, especially as temperatures start to climb. Replace sugary drinks like soda and juice with water; your kidneys will thank you for it.
If you’re setting wellness goals this spring, make an appointment to talk one-on-one with a FourPoints Health provider who can help you assess current lifestyle choices, identify goals and expectations and create a starting point to set you up for success.
Owned and operated by the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, FourPoints Health manages five clinics in the southern and central regions of the state. Many of the staff are tribal members working for and giving back to their tribe and community.
At FourPoints Health, providers seek to treat more than just a patient’s physical body; their mind, emotions and spirit all play a role. These four points of the ancient medicine wheel define health and wellness in the Paiute way of life.
“What I personally love about FourPoints Health is that we serve all members of the community,” Schmutz said. “It’s really anyone and everyone.”
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
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- FourPoints Health | Locations: 1449 N. 1400 West, Suite 19, St. George, or 440 N. Paiute Drive, Cedar City | Telephone: 435-688-7572 (St. George) or 435-867-1520 (Cedar City) | Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Website.
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