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apree health Providers Making a Difference in Alaska

nurse practitioner. value based care.
author apree health

This post was authored in collaboration with Casta Townsley, an apree health Nurse Practitioner in our Anchorage Care Center.

At Eastside Anchorage Care Center, in Anchorage, Alaska, patients are met with compassionate care and personalized attention, thanks to dedicated professionals like Casta Townsley, a nurse practitioner (NP) who serves the community with unwavering commitment. Graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a specialization in lifestyle and family medicine, Casta brings a wealth of expertise to her role, ensuring that each patient receives the holistic care they deserve.

Casta’s journey to Eastside Anchorage Care Center was shaped by her dedication to integrated care models. Before joining apree health, she honed her skills with Indian Health Services, gaining invaluable experience in managing complex patient populations within a closed network framework. The merger with Castlight opened new doors for Casta, allowing her to witness the integrated care model in action, enriching the lives of apree health members.

Passionate about preventive medicine, Casta emphasizes disease reversal, healthy lifestyle practices, and managing conditions like diabetes and obesity. Her approach extends beyond traditional healthcare, empowering patients to take charge of their well-being and make informed choices about their health journey.

For Casta, the transition to apree health marked a significant shift from the impersonal “conveyor belt” of medicine to a fulfilling environment where she could establish meaningful connections with her patients. Through apree’s Advanced Primary Care (APC) model, Casta not only builds strong patient-provider relationships but also tailors care plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, placing them at the center of their healthcare experience. With an ever-increasing complexity in patient needs, including social determinants of health, insurance, and financial concerns, Casta remains committed to finding innovative solutions to ensure comprehensive care for all.

Casta’s dedication to her patients extends beyond the clinic walls. She recognizes the importance of addressing financial barriers to care, advocating for affordable treatment options, and leveraging telehealth services to enhance accessibility. Her passion for lifestyle medicine drives her to educate patients on preventive measures and support them in making sustainable lifestyle changes.

One memorable patient story that Casta often shares is that of an middle aged, Filipino couple from the Anchorage School District. Facing barriers to care due to financial constraints and busy work schedules, the couple had lacked access to care for over a decade. They began seeing Casta on the weekend, the only day they both had off together between two jobs. Her intervention transformed their lives. Taking into account their financial situation, Casta was mindful of costs as they relate to health care expenses and in this case medication management was necessary for both patients. “I believe in being a good steward of medicine and part of that for me is taking into account factors like income and affordability when developing a treatment plan with the patient. “I choose generics for medications with that in mind. We have been successful in managing both disease processes without exorbitant medication costs.” Another factor when considering health outcomes is the acquisition of quality medical devices. The livongo program partnership has allowed for access to equipment at no cost to the patient. Having access to that kind of data not only increases engagement in care but it allows me as the provider to make more well informed decisions regarding management of the disease and in return improves patient outcomes.” 

Another way Casta improves access for her members is through telehealth. “I respect and value my patients time and if possible I will do a virtual or telephonic visit.”

Part of my passion from the lifestyle medicine perspective is discussing lifestyle modifications and foundational health as it relates to disease prevention; I spend a lot of time on this with patients. “I take the time to create a sustainable plan, meeting them where they are when discussing areas like food or exercise for example and discussing access or barriers to wellness” said Casta. By providing timely medication and enrolling them in programs like Livongo for diabetes management, Casta not only improved their health outcomes but also restored their faith in accessible, quality healthcare.

Reflecting on her journey, Casta expresses gratitude for the opportunity to be part of her patients’ lives, acknowledging that the path to wellness is not always easy but immensely rewarding. With Vera, Casta continues to navigate through challenges, guided by her commitment to personalized, patient-centered care.

Casta Townsley exemplifies the spirit of compassionate healthcare, embodying apree health’s values to empower patients and transform lives. Her story serves as a testament to the power of personalized care in shaping healthier communities and inspiring positive change.

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