Your healthcare providers serve as the entry point for substantially all of your medical and health care needs. They are your advocate in coordinating the use of the entire health care system to benefit you and take continuing responsibility for providing your care. Primary care includes health promotion, disease prevention, health maintenance, counseling, patient education, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. By regularly seeing a primary care practitioner, you can identify and control health risk factors before they become problems. Your primary care practitioner encourages you to take charge of your health and is a trusted partner in an environment where you can feel comfortable and known.