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The Importance of Primary Care: More than just a checkup


Your primary care provider can play a valuable role in your health.

You see your primary doctor or nurse practitioner for an annual physical, and maybe when you’re feeling under the weather. But your provider’s scope of care goes far beyond a simple wellness check.

“Your primary care provider can be considered your medical home,” says Alicia Florez, a family nurse practitioner at Adventist Health Physicians Network in Napa. “We can offer extensive care, from routine screenings to treating acute illness.”

Preventive care

Your primary care provider is the first line of defense in identifying risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. “We make sure you’re up to date on screenings and understand your health concerns so we can offer early intervention,” says Michael Novak, MD, a primary care physician at Adventist Health Physicians Network in Napa. “If we understand your risk early, making dietary improvements and incorporating regular physical activity can often reduce symptoms and sometimes even prevent disease.”

Specialist referrals

If you suspect you may need to see a specialist, Florez recommends consulting your primary care provider first to rule out simple diagnoses and get a referral. “We can determine if your concern necessitates specialty care and refer you to the appropriate provider,” Florez says. “We can communicate with the specialist and share notes so they understand your background before your first visit.”

Full-spectrum care

Whether you’re feeling sick with a cold, concerned about a symptom or looking for advice on implementing a healthy diet, think of your primary care provider as your go-to resource. The best part? Once you’ve established a relationship, your provider can tailor your care to your unique needs at each visit. “For me, it’s all about taking time with each person I see,” Florez says. “I’m not in and out of the room in 10 minutes. I want to get to know them and understand their medical history so I can continue to provide personalized care.”

Your Napa primary care providers

Adventist Health Physicians Network in Napa is home to expert providers who care about your whole healthcare journey.

“It’s important for everyone to have a primary care provider who can be their healthcare advocate,” says Michael Novak, MD. “We’re here to help people in the Napa Valley live a healthier life at every age.”

  • Alicia Florez, FNP-BC
  • Michael Novak, MD

Find a provider

Adventist Health’s experts are here for your healthcare needs. Call 707-253-1135 to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider at the medical office in Napa.