Treated as Family: St. Luke’s Dr. Coenen Cares for the Entire Family, Starting at Birth
Published in Moms & Dads Today magazine, September/October 2017
Treated as Family
St. Luke’s Dr. Coenen Cares for the Entire Family, Starting at Birth
In baby’s first year, you can expect more than a few checkups. While most of the attention is paid to the newborn, parents are often undergoing physical, social and behavioral changes as well. This is where family medicine comes in.
Family medicine is a specialty devoted to comprehensive health care for people of all ages. For Dr. Jesse Coenen at St. Luke’s Medical Arts Clinic, family medicine is about providing the full spectrum of family care in a convenient and open environment.
“Traditionally, a pediatrician checks in on baby, an OB-GYN checks in on mom about six weeks after delivery, and if there’s another parent, nobody really checks in on them,” Dr. Coenen explained. “But from the family medicine perspective, when there’s an appointment for the new baby, I can see how things are going for the whole family.”
This can be helpful for new parents who are navigating a new lifestyle and an emotionally significant time. Dr. Coenen makes a point to remind parents how common postpartum depression is, and to be open about how you’re feeling. In a visit with Dr. Coenen, patients may have conversations about exercise, sleep, mental health and even date night.
Melissa Mokry, her husband, Bill, and six-month-old son, Ephraim, are all patients of Dr. Coenen’s. She said the care her family receives goes beyond a typical checkup.
“Dr. Coenen will ask how I’m doing, how Bill’s doing, if I’ve noticed emotional changes,” Mokry explained. “He even helped us set goals around finding someone to watch Ephraim so we could go on our first date after having a baby. He makes sure we’re all doing great wellness-wise.”
Building a Family History
Another benefit of seeing family practice doctors is that they understand and are considering your comprehensive family history no matter who they’re treating in your family.
“Quite often, health concerns aren’t unique to one individual, but are related to social and genetic factors within a family,” Dr. Coenen explained. “In that case, it makes sense to have a comprehensive view — either for long-term conditions or for something contagious, like strep.”
As a family practice doctor, Dr. Coenen can keep personal and family history in mind when he sees anyone within the family.
“Being invested in the care of everybody in the room is not only more enjoyable for me, but it also improves the quality of care.”
Creating a Convenient Option
At St. Luke’s Medical Arts Clinic, there are five family practice providers: Dr. Coenen, Dr. Tim Kufahl, Dr. Like He, Dr. Anne Riddle and Nurse Practitioner Josie DiCesare. In a region with six months of cold weather, new parents may choose this clinic for family medicine because of its convenient location and indoor parking.
“When we were bringing Ephraim in for a checkup in the middle of winter, we were able to drive into the ramp and valet park,” Mokry said. “We didn’t even have to step outside.”
Dr. Coenen also uses St. Luke’s online portal to answer patient questions when a visit might not be necessary. For first-time parents with frequent questions, this can be a helpful way to get quick answers.
While Dr. Coenen does refer patients to pediatricians or OB-GYNs if needed, he believes having one provider for the whole family makes a lot of sense. Especially when it comes to caring for families as they grow and change.
“A lot of medicine is taking care of sick people, but for babies, many of the visits are to see what’s going well,” Dr. Coenen said. “They should be a positive thing for the family.”
To make an appointment at St. Luke’s Medical Arts Clinic, call 218.249.3500.