WASHINGTON Aurora Health Care wants people to take their vitamin D.
The Milwaukee-based healthcare provider is ramping up its efforts to promote the use of vitamin D supplements in response to growing evidence that higher levels of the vitamin may improve the health of patients with heart disease, osteoporosis, seasonal depression and some muscle conditions.
“We are the first integrated healthcare system to advocate for community-wide use of vitamin D,” Aurora medical director for patient access John Whitcomb said in a statement. “We want everyone in the state of Wisconsin to take vitamin D during the winter.”
Staff at Aurora’s pharmacies and QuickCare and Urgent Care centers are trained to educate patients on the benefits of vitamin D and what dosages to take, Whitcomb said. Aurora Sinai Medical Center’s emergency department implemented a policy this week that every patient with chest pain receives a loading dose of vitamin D, and Aurora is in the process of spreading the word among its clinics and physician offices.
About 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women in the United States have levels of vitamin D that are considered too low.