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starting monthly health screenings

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 10:54 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 10:56 a.m. CDT

Greater Regional Medical Center (GRMC) has recently started doing monthly health screenings for anyone interested.

“We noticed there have been entities from outside Creston coming in and offering these services,” said LouAnn Snodgrass, Executive Director, Continuum of Care with GRMC, “and Greater Regional felt like it’s something we should be able to offer our community and our residents.”

The health screenings are offered the third Thursday of every month. The first screening was scheduled for December, but was canceled because of the snowstorm and rescheduled for Jan. 3. The screenings will take place at GRMC in the Medical Arts Plaza, Suite 105.

“It gives people an opportunity to really take charge of their health and be proactive about, ‘Okay, I’m okay,’ or ‘Maybe I need to talk to my doctor,’” said Snodgrass.

Patients must preregister for the screenings. Screenings and vaccinations are chosen when registering, and private payment is given at the patient’s appointment.

Screenings available include cholesterol, blood sugar, colorectal, and EKG. For more information on the available screenings and prices, see the infobox.

“We’re hoping that what this does is it encourages people to be proactive regarding their health,” said Snodgrass, “remembering that these are screenings and that it remains important for patients to maintain an ongoing relationship with their physician.”

Along with the screenings, nurses will be available to educate patients on the screenings and vaccinations they are receiving. The education includes what to expect, when the results will be returned, side effects and general health and fitness.

“The patient is registered and they get to choose which of the screenings they want to complete. So, depending on whether they want some labs drawn or they want the carotid studies, they get to choose and everyone is individualized,” said Robin Sevier, Union County Public Health nurse.

Snodgrass said GRMC will not be keeping a record of the screening results and therefore it is up to the patients to keep a copy to give to their physician.

GRMC is also having cholesterol screenings the whole month of February. Registration is not required. The screenings are available from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and are not covered by insurance.

“We’ve had terrific response, not just locally but from the extended region, you know, people are coming quite a ways for this,” Snodgrass said. “It’s been exciting to see the response and, you know, we’ll continue to offer it as long as people are interested in participating.”

Currently the southwestern region of Iowa is without flu vaccines, and according to Snodgrass, Polk County is the closest location for one. Snodgrass and the registered nurses said covering your cough, containing the germs by staying home and cleaning your hands are the best ways to prevent spreading the flu. They also recommend getting the flu vaccine in the fall when supplies are not limited.

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