Hospital hosts low-cost health screenings this weekend

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Local residents will have the opportunity to take part in a low-cost community health screening this weekend at Sycamore Shoals Hospital.

Each year, the hospital hosts four health screening events to help serve the community. This Saturday, April 8, the event will be held from 7-9 a.m. in the classrooms at the hospital, which are located near the cafeteria.

“It’s important for people to understand their health so they can make changes to their lifestyle,” said Leland Dauksch, Director of Ancillary Services and Assistant Administrator at Sycamore Shoals Hospital. “Sometimes lifestyle changes can fix it, but sometimes they need medical intervention.”

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The hospital provides the screenings to community members at a discounted rate. Those taking part in the testing can then take the results to their primary care physician.

Participants will receive a free blood pressure check at the event and get blood work drawn and processed at a very low cost. Included in the tests for the blood work, lab staff will check blood glucose, hematocrit (which is the percentage of red blood cells present in the blood), triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and risk ratio testing. The cost of the blood work is $15 (cash or check), and no insurance is required.

The hospital began offering community health screenings 25 years ago, Dauksch said.

“We have not increased our fees in 25 years,” Dauksch said, adding the estimated value of the tests is now around $300. “We were covering our costs when we first started, but obviously now we are not covering our costs, but this is a good service for the community we want to provide.”

The screenings provide a way for members of the community to receive lab tests they might not be able to afford otherwise. According to the hospital, an average of 30-40 people participate in each health screening.

“These are fasting blood work tests, so participants should not eat or drink anything for eight to 10 hours prior to the tests,” said Corey Paulson, Director of Marketing and Communications for Sycamore Shoals Hospital. The tests are done early in the morning, he said, because patients are required to fast for several hours prior to the screening.

The hospital’s phlebotomy lab processes the samples on site, and the results will be mailed to participants in about a week, Paulson said.

To register, call 800-888-5551. Walk-ins are also welcome.