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Senior Treasures 30 Years with Her Primary Care Physician

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Helen Bishop smiles during a checkup with Edward Jastrzemski, MD

For one-third of her 90 years, Helen Bishop has entrusted her healthcare to one primary care physician.

The Portage County resident knows the value of a doctor who has seen her through decades, notes subtle changes, anticipates her needs, and urges her to get her regular screenings. Edward Jastrzemski, MD, even managed to persuade her to go for screenings she didn’t think she needed – like the mammogram that caught breast cancer 25 years ago.

“He’s always been really great for me,” says the polka-dancing senior, who drives 20 minutes to see the internal medicine specialist in his Kent office. “It’s worth a little drive. I can just talk to him and he doesn’t rush me. He takes the time.”

Dr. Jastrzemski, known by his patients as Dr. J, has been a practicing internal medicine physician for nearly 35 years, mostly in Kent. He is among University Hospitals’ more than 400 primary care providers across 100 locations. Dr. Jastrzemski joined University Hospitals when Robinson Memorial Hospital became UH Portage Medical Center, and he enjoys practicing relationship-based care.

“Some of my patients have been seeing me for over 30 years,” says Dr. Jastrzemski. “It is important for patients to establish primary care with a provider they trust so that they can build a relationship. It is important for the provider to know the patient’s health history in detail and to know the patient’s relationships with family and community, so that we can offer the best options to them.”

Trust built between patients and primary care providers allows them to speak candidly. These bonds can prove beneficial over time, especially when important healthcare decisions must be made. If trust doesn’t exist, notes Dr. Jastrzemski, health concerns could go unaddressed or advice go unheeded.

Helen initially declined a mammogram order, but Dr. Jastrzemski urged her to get the screening that caught cancer early. She had surgery and recovered well.

“I always felt if he hadn’t done that, who knows what would’ve happened?” Helen says.

And when her mother died at 93, her doctor showed compassion and concern, which she deeply appreciated.

“Trust allows the patient to speak about health and personal matters that have a significant bearing on chronic conditions, both physical and mental,” Dr. Jastrzemski added. “Trust between patient and provider is important, so that both parties are able to speak candidly about ongoing issues. Providers benefit from knowing as much about the patient as possible, so that decisions about healthcare may be made honestly with the patient’s best interests at the forefront.

“Managing patient care long term is a blessing for me,” said Dr. Jastrzemski.

Related Links

University Hospitals has a vast network of primary care providers at convenient locations across the region. With online scheduling, next-day appointments, and accepting most major insurance plans, UH is dedicated to your health. To find a physician near you, go to UHhospitals.org/PrimaryCare.

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