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Published on December 11, 2018
Beginning in January, Dr. Nancy Sudak, director of Integrative Health for Essentia Health, will facilitate a new "group visit" model for women in menopause to gather around a table to learn not only from a health care provider, but from other women.
"Group visits are an emerging model that allows patients to learn with each other, and from each other," Dr. Sudak says. Ideally, between 8 and 16 women will meet for the Duluth group visits. The model not only improves connections between patients and providers, it increases access to health care, because one physician can work with more patients at the same time, Dr. Sudak says. Once the group begins meeting, Dr. Sudak expects the conversation to flow. Each visit will cover a specific topic, with plenty of time for patients to share feelings, frustrations, concerns, and ideas for each other.
"Women in menopause have a lot to say," she says. She expects to cover topics including how to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep problems, the link between stress and menopausal symptoms, and nutritional and lifestyle recommendations, among others.
"The whole idea is that women will be able to share what they are experiencing," Dr. Sudak says. "It will be personal. You don't have to share what you don't want to share, but you will be able to connect where you need to."
While the menopause group visit series is one of the first for Essentia Health, Dr. Sudak says more group visit sessions are likely to happen, with topics ranging from diabetes and chronic pain to insomnia and stress management.
Patients who would like to enroll in the three-visit program don't have to be a regular patient with Dr. Sudak, but they will have to have a short introductory office visit with her before the first group session. A patient's insurance will be billed for all three sessions.
Sign up for group visits:
For more information, call the Integrative Health Department at Essentia Health (218) 786-2125.