The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Annual Report: Health & Public Service

March 22, 2010

Profile: Purdy reports more stress-related issues

Twenty years on the front line of health care in Anderson as a family physician has provided Dr. Charles Purdy with an overarching view of the general health of the Madison County population. Patients’ health issues and their attitude toward health care in general have changed in recent years.

“There have been more stress-related symptoms due to the economy and uncertainty about the future,” he said. “More people are facing unemployment and the loss of health insurance.”

Health insurance reductions and losses have resulted in neglecting maintenance appointments and ignoring the symptoms of larger issues until the condition becomes impossible to overlook.

“Financial constraints are resulting in patients only coming in for acute problems,” he added. “Medical attention is becoming a last-ditch effort.”

Explaining that the severity of the condition is linked to the length of time patients wait to seek attention, he points to the importance of wellness appointments.

“If I can help someone stop smoking when they are 25 years old, it can prevent them from having surgery at 55,” he added. “Prevention from getting a disease not only benefits the patient, but is much less expensive to the system.”

Watching the high number of residents developing Type II Diabetes and hypertension, both heavily impacted by lifestyle choices, has affected the way Purdy deals with his own children.

“I make a concerted effort to encourage my children to exercise every day, especially in the winter,” he said, adding that they enjoy a family membership to the YMCA. “Not only do they benefit from the physical exercise, but also from the contact with other people and the social interaction. It’s good for their emotional well-being.”

Purdy has also noted the challenges of countering the effects of ever-increasing technology in the lives of teenagers. With an eight-year gap between his oldest and youngest child, he has experienced the huge change that only a few years can make.

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Annual Report: Health & Public Service
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