The Season for Flu Prevention

Faith Community Health System says vaccine is the best method of preventing the influenza virus.

With the fall season in full swing and temperatures slowly dropping, Faith Community Health System (FCHS) is echoing the words of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by encouraging area residents to take a proactive approach against the flu by getting vaccinated.

“Many people have very strong opinions in regards to the flu shot, and many of them are very vocal in person and on social media. Unfortunately, much that information is incorrect. The flu vaccine is safe and effective. It is the single best tool we have to combat the flu every year,” explains Dr. Brent Shepherd, a Family Practice/OB physician in Jacksboro. “Reducing the spread of the virus and its impact on your body is very important.”

According to the CDC, vaccines have been updated for 2019 to better match viruses expected to be circulating in the United States.

Recommendations for people with egg allergies are the same as in recent years. Those who have known allergies to eggs are encouraged to get a flu shot by the CDC but are encouraged to talk with their primary healthcare providers beforehand.

While FCHS is expected to meet local demand with the availability of flu vaccines, Dr. Shepherd cautions that individuals should not wait very long, as the flu outbreak can spread quickly throughout any community.

The best recommendation is to get vaccinated as soon as possible – and October is the best time to get vaccinated as it is in the beginning of the flu season.

Although contracting the flu virus is still possible for someone who has been vaccinated, Dr. Shepherd explains that symptoms are typically less severe than they are for someone who did not receive a flu shot.

Symptoms of the flu typically come on suddenly and may include fever or chills, a cough and sore throat, a runny and stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, and fatigue.  Most people who develop the flu are contagious for five to seven days after they show symptoms.

“If you think you have influenza, then stay away from public places.  Influenza is very contagious.  Cover your mouth and wash your hands frequency to prevent the spread of the illness.  It’s also important to be evaluated quickly by a medical professional, because most flu medications only work if given very quickly after symptoms start,” Dr. Shepherd says. “As with most illness, rest and hydration are key to making it through the illness.”

Individuals with underlying medical conditions should consult with their medical provider as early as possible to see whether they want to test for the flu and prescribe an antiviral drug.

To prevent the spread of the flu, it is recommended that individuals avoid close contact with those who are sick with the virus. Equally as important, if you suspect that you may be infected with the flu, you are encouraged to stay home.

Covering your mouth and nose when you need to sneeze or cough; frequently washing your hands to avoid spreading germs; and avoiding needlessly touching your eyes, mouth and nose are other tips recommended to prevent the spread of infections.

Following recommends of the CDC as in recent years, people ages six months and older are encouraged to be vaccinated. Seniors over 65, pregnant women, and children under the age of two are particularly vulnerable to the flu, which causes an estimated 100,000 hospitalizations 30,000 deaths a year.

Individuals interested in getting the flu shot are encouraged to stop by Faith Community Rural Health Clinics in Jacksboro, Bowie, and Alvord. Insurance plans are accepted, and a self-pay option is also available.

For more information about local healthcare programs and services, please visit

Although contracting the flu virus is still possible for someone who has been vaccinated, Dr. Shepherd explains that symptoms are typically less severe than they are for someone who did not receive a flu shot.

35 Views0
Annual Wellness Exams: A Proactive Approach to Healthcare

Faith Community Health System discusses the importance of checkups to ensure the state of your health.

Did you know that Medicare and most private insurance plans cover the cost of an annual wellness exam? Why miss out on this valuable healthcare benefit? Faith Community Health System reminds adults in the community to schedule annual wellness exams this fall before benefits expire at the end of the year.

Regular health exams, screenings, and tests are important to monitor the state of your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that annual health exams can also assist medical providers in tracking changes in your health and identify trends or problems in patients before conditions escalate.

“Scheduling an annual wellness exam is being proactive with your healthcare,” says Dr. Erika Crutcher, a Family Practice/OB physician in Jacksboro. “Knowing more about the status of your body means you and your medical providers can take the necessary measures to help you live a longer, healthier life.”

The CDC estimates that fewer than half of American adults, age 65 or older, and fewer than a quarter of adults, ages 50 to 64, receive the recommended level of preventative health services. This includes immunizations, and cancer and cardiovascular screenings.

During an annual wellness exam, you can expect your medical provider to review height and weight changes; discuss possible diseases and schedule screenings as appropriate; update necessary immunizations; and order laboratory screenings that measure a variety of stats such cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

In advance of your annual wellness exam, doctors recommend that you prepare. This includes writing down your family history of illnesses as well as any changes in your health that you might have observed within the past year. If you have put off any health screenings previously recommended, it is important that you share that information with your physician.

Most importantly, write down any questions you might have for your physician. In the moment, you could become anxious and forget some of the pressing questions you might have.

“Patients are often hesitant to discuss how they are feeling, and that is completely understandable,” Dr. Crutcher explains. “But wellness exams are no time to be shy or hide important information. It is your opportunity to be open and honest about how you are feeling.”

Dr. Crutcher also reminds patients that lab screenings are often part of a wellness exam, so fasting at least eight hours prior to your appointment is necessary to prevent inaccurate results.

Individuals who need to take scheduled medication with meals are encouraged to discuss this beforehand with the doctor’s office. Clinic staff can provide the best and appropriate recommendations based on your individual situation.

The cost of having a preventative wellness exam at least once a year is typically covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies. Dr. Crutcher recommends discussing coverage with your insurance provider and taking advantage of the preventative healthcare services available to you.

For more information about annual wellness exams at Faith Community Rural Health Clinics in Jacksboro, Bowie, or Alvord; or to find a local medical provider, please visit

35 Views0
Congratulations to Honor Grad Troy McKenzie

Faith Community Health System would like to recognize and congratulate Troy McKenzie, FCHS IT Director, on being the first in his family to attend and graduate college!

Working full time while attending school, Troy has showed great determination, hard work, and leadership. We are very proud to have such great employees like Troy here at Faith Community Health System.

Troy graduated from Vernon College Cum Laude with honors. He received his Associates Degree in Applied Science, more specifically Computer and Information Sciences.

Congratulations Troy McKenzie!

281 Views0

Classes offered at the Jack County Health Fair – September 27th!

Jeff Miller EMT-P, Safety & Security Officer at Faith Community Health System, will be teaching on the importance of STOP THE BLEED. We encourage everyone to come out and learn more about the awareness and call to action for citizens to be more aware, trained, equipped, and empowered to aid in an emergency before help can arrive! The focus of this program is on the immediate response to bleeding, recognizing life-threatening bleeding, and appropriate ways to stop the bleeding.

Contact Jeff Miller with any questions: or 940-216-2239

September 27th Class times: 7am, 8am, 9am

Location: Twin Lakes Activity Center

166 Views0
Sip & Savor

Join us in the celebration of the launch of our new Lifestyle Medicine programs at Faith Community Health System and Swan Family Wellness Center! This will be a fun (and delicious) night with FOUR courses of FOOD and WINE pairings in the beautiful ambiance of the courtyard at JR’s Chophouse.

October 5th at 7:00 pm

Live Music – Food & Wine Pairing

$50 a person; $90 a couple

JR’s Chophouse: 119 North Main Street, Jacksboro, Texas 76458

RSVP: or 940-216-2281
Questions? Call Joe Copeland 940-216-2380

86 Views0
Jack County Health Fair 2019

Come join us for this year’s Jack County Health Fair! Local vendors all working together to provide you with all the tips, products, and services you need to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. All ages are welcome for a FREE event.

September 27th 7am – 10am

We look forward to having you all!FREE Lab Work  available: BMP, CBC, LIPID, A1C, B12 Women, PSA Men. (Valued at: $600)

***Bloodwork: fasting after midnight required!***


Twin Lakes Activity Center

1114 State Hwy 59, Jacksboro 76458

306 Views0

About Faith Community Health System

Faith Community Hospital is a community hospital serving the residents of Jack County, Texas. We offer a wealth of medical services including inpatient care, minor surgeries, obstetrics and other health care services.

Rural Health Clinics

Alvord Clinic
115 East Bypass US Highway 287
Alvord, Texas 76225


Bowie Clinic
1010 N. Mill St.
Bowie, TX 76230


Jacksboro Clinic
215 Chisholm Trail
Jacksboro, TX 76458


Contact Us

If you need to contact us for general inquires or comments, please use the methods below. For emergencies, please dial 911.

215 Chisholm Trail Jacksboro, Texas 76458