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Men's Health Adds a Key Component to Its Services: Primary Care Providers

February 16, 2022

Men take a lot of ribbing for not going to the doctor until they’re very sick or their significant others or children cajole enough. Three years ago, the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute launched its Men’s Health Center in Farmington to address this habit by creating a comfortable, accessible, male-focused setting where patients can connect with an integrated group of specialists. In the process, the Tallwood team discovered that many men lack the most basic tool for good health – a primary care provider (PCP). While tending to more specialized needs with cardiovascular, behavioral health and urology experts at the center, the team also began connecting men with PCPs for ongoing and preventative care. “Men’s Health was created to address the unique physical and emotional needs of men, but the patients need the consistency that can only be provided through an established relationship with a primary care provider,” said Dr. Jared Bieniek, medical director of Tallwood Men’s Health. “Primary care is where diseases like diabetes and even cancer are found before they become too dangerous. It became an important part of our mission to address that void as well.” Not even a year after opening, the team at Tallwood Men’s Health began tracking the number of referrals being made to PCPs convenient to the patients’ homes. In 2019, there were 82 referrals. The number climbed to 397 in 2020 and to 522 in 2021. This year, as the team celebrates the program’s third anniversary, Men’s Health will add primary care to the services it offers, which include:

  • Preventative cardiology.
  • Endocrinology.
  • Sleep medicine.
  • Behavioral health.
  • Urology.
  • Medical weight loss.
  • Bariatric surgery.
Cardiology services also will be expanded with two new providers. A dedicated nurse navigator relieves some of the stress of navigating the healthcare system, partnering with each patient to help set up appointments and follow-up services. “Having a diverse group of providers available to address the many interrelated conditions men have – such as high blood pressure, weight, sexual function, and depression – makes it easier to connect them with the care they need," said Dr. Bieniek. "The nurse navigator is key, working directly with patients to guide them every step of the way,.” Tallwood Men’s Health will also expand its unique care concept to new locations in Waterford and Fairfield County later in 2022. “This is obviously an area of need for the people in our communities, so we’re going to meet those needs with the array of primary and specialty care services we have,” Dr. Bieniek said.