Dr. Stephen Cook launches patient empowerment initiative
Dr. Steve Cook will unveil our Patient Empowerment program on Monday, Sept. 29 at the Boothbay Region Health & Wellness Foundation’s Annual Members’ meeting, which will take place at the Boothbay Town Office starting at 7 p.m.
Many of you know Dr. Cook because you met him in the St. Andrews Hospital Emergency Room where he served as our ER physician for the last eight years. Others may know him as a chainsaw- wielding “Woodchuck.” Or, you may have met him as a neighbor on Ocean Point.
A native Mainer, born and raised in Tenants Harbor, Steve studied medicine at the University of Cincinnati, did his residency at Maine Medical Center in Portland and practiced as a general and vascular surgeon in Bangor before moving to the Boothbay region to practice emergency medicine.
Cook describes himself as an “eclectic physician.” What he really loves is spending time talking with patients about what’s going on in their lives. That’s one reason he enjoyed being an emergency physician. As an ER physician in a rural area, “you get the opportunity to really listen to people and to learn about their lives; that’s really special to me.”
Cook feels strongly that patients should take control over the decisions that affect their health and the health of their family members. Steve met and spent time with “e-Patient Dave” — Dave deBronkart, when Dave visited our community and gave a talk on July 17. Inspired by e-Patient Dave, we decided to design and launch an Empowered Patient Study Group on the Boothbay peninsula.
The goals of the Empowered Patient Study Group will be to:
- Build a core group of informed, educated, and engaged patients who can work collaboratively with their practitioners, and educate their families and friends.
- Educate each member about how to collect, understand, correct and maintain their medical records.
- Determine the most important things we need to teach people in this community — to identify the kinds of lectures and mini-courses the foundation needs to provide.
- Have this group review and select online and local resources (websites, online patient communities, support groups) that are most useful and informative for them and others like them. These will be added to the Health & Wellness Resources directory that is being jointly created by the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library and the Wellness Foundation.
- Empower patients with the information they need to take advantage of each doctor’s appointment and check-up by being proactive and organized.
- Train this core group of empowered patients to help other patients and family members to be proactive stewards of their own health and wellness.
Steve Cook plans to kick off this Patient Empowerment Study Group with an initial Q&A session on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library on the ground floor. He’s hoping to form a core group of people representing each of the communities on our peninsula, each of whom is willing to meet privately with Steve to review and understand his/her medical records and then to meet with the study group on a weekly basis for a trial period, and then review and evolve the program together. We encourage and welcome your participation.