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Apr 24 2017
Pride in ownership key to health

I remember when I purchased my very first car many years ago. For $375 of hard-earned cash from my part-time job, I was able to land an old, used and somewhat rusty Toyota. It wasn’t exactly a cool or pretty car, but it ran (except on really cold days) and it got me where I wanted to go. It was the very first time I had ever downright purchased something of significance myself and I was proud. My name was on the title. I was an owner.

I soon realized that owning that car brought with it serious responsibilities. Gas didn’t magically appear in the tank like it did when I used my parents’ cars. Funny how that works. I had never received an insurance bill before. Now, I received regular letters from my new friends every six months. Thank goodness for the local A&P and my speedy check-out girl abilities — that paid the bills.

Until I decided my car would really be cool if it had new leopard carpeting and was yellow instead of the current greenish rusty color. I did extensive research on where I could buy the most economical, quality carpeting and get the best outcomes for the yellow paint job. I invested wisely in my car and had the work done. I was truly an owner now, in charge. And I took great care of that jalopy until it died.

Thinking back to those days makes me realize the lessons I learned in becoming an owner of that car served me well in learning how to be a smart consumer throughout my life. The same sort of pride in ownership now applies to much bigger purchasing decisions, like property, boats and me. That’s right — me. Last time I checked, my name was on my birth certificate, entitling me to all the rights and responsibilities of life. I am the sole responsible party in charge of my life, my happiness and my health.

Working in the health care sector, it seems we don’t always take advantage of the possibilities to make improvements to our own health. We often tend to think that it’s the doctor’s job to keep us healthy. While he or she plays a key role, of course, it’s our job to keep track of ourselves. Indeed, we are the owners of our own health.

Several years ago, Direct Access Testing for consumers became available at Holy Family Memorial. DAT is essentially an "easy button" when it comes to monitoring one’s health, much like the warning lights on today’s cars that keep us informed. Without the requirement of a doctor’s prescription, we can now do self-directed "check-ups." Various laboratory tests such as cholesterol, glucose and a host of others are available. One can also get various diagnostic imaging screens, such as a healthy heart screen or physical therapy for minor ache and pains. All of this is available for a nominal cash fee with results mailed directly to you. More information is available at your health. You call the shots, you decide when and where. This unique opportunity allows you to be the sole owner of your health.

Mary Maurer is vice president of community engagement for Holy Family Memorial.


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