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Family health history 4


Family health history is a hot reunion topic!
The more we know about health and medicine, the more it seems we need to know. Family health history is becoming a hot reunion topic that genealogists are looking at more closely, and there are products to help foster the interest.

Deborah McGregor, MD, MPH, heads AppleHeart Health Systems, a company dedicated to preventive medicine. A new service launched by her team is the AppleHeart Healthy Family Reunion program. It includes a three-step approach of health assessment, health protection and health improvement recognition. Her objective to increase health awareness during each family reunion. The process begins with selection of four family volunteers: a family health coordinator and three group leaders, one each for men, women and young people. These family members will receive an AppleHeart Training Kit which includes an instruction manual and "How To... Check List" . One of Dr. McGregor's popular topics is Grandma's Remedies That Work - The Four Pillars of Health. This can be a delightful addition to your planning. Use "Grandma's Remedies That Work" as a topic of discussion during the picnic or evening program.

To interest members in their health and family health history, the Burnett Family Reunion offered an optional workshop about family health. Workshop objectives were to share information about illness and wellness with the family and to educate members about taking charge of their own health. Together they began diagramming their family history in a genogram tracing health issues through several generations. The workshop was so well received, that it will continue at their next reunion.




Traveling with your medical records

by Wendy Angst
Whether a camping reunion to Colorado or a beach getaway to Florida, you can now travel with your personal health records (PHRs) wherever your reunion is. You can use PHRs to access health, medical and insurance information and have emergency information available. PHRs available to consumers include online websites, cell phone applications and portable USB flash drives. Family reunions offer a great opportunity to build a multi-generation family medical history, and PHRs are great repositories for such helpful information. People usually focus on their own records; but knowing a close relative's allergies, past surgeries or curr nt treatments helps you better understand your own health.
Traditionally, medical records have been maintained on paper. Today, electronic health records offer flexible options and several choices for storage, management and information sharing.
At a minimum, a PHR should enable you to record personal medical history information. A full PHR contains immunization records, lab reports, x-rays or other films, physician contact information, known allergies, lists of medications and pharmacy information that enable emergency doctors to treat a patient without having to wait for their medical history. An emergency PHR contains information such as blood type, physician's contact information, a list of medications and known allergies. An online PHR provides consumers with secure access from any computer to their personal health information with the click of a mouse. This is helpful at a reunion, if the group is using a portable laptop to gather family histories. Some PHR users receive a sticker for their phone to alert professionals. Each application ensures secure, full access to health information. About the author
Wendy Angst,
is general manager of CapMed, which makes an Online PHR and an icePHR (in case of emergency).

 

Family medical secrets: who should you tell?
by Fran Carlson
As a reunion organizer since the early seventies, I went to my 1987 family reunion with a new purpose. I decided to include health history. I wanted to find out why a simple outpatient, surgical procedure had caused me to have a near-death experience. It was not a romantic romp into the good light, and I wanted to be sure it never happened again. I prepared a three-page medical questionnaire to be completed by the fifty people at our reunion. I wanted to find out if anything in our family medical history could explain my problem. I was asking for the most intimate information so I promised confidentiality. That is, I would accumulate the data and report it by generation, but I would not divulge who had reported what medical malady without their permission.




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