Raleigh hospitals hold health screenings
Posted May 9, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Health care professionals from local hospitals were on hand at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Exposition Center in Raleigh on Wednesday to give free medical screenings and health care advice as part of Community Health Screening Day.
Among the services provided were screenings for blood pressure, glucose, body mass index and cholesterol, as well as immunizations.
Participants were also able get a variety of advice from experts, and community agencies were also available to provide information about health care resources in Raleigh.
The event was a partnership –the first of its kind –between WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Duke Raleigh Hospital and Rex Healthcare and is being held during National Hospital Week in conjunction with collaborative efforts of hospitals across the state to improve community health.
People started lining up early Wednesday at the fairgrounds. If not for the service, many said, they weren't sure where they would turn for help.
"My job didn't offer benefits, so I'm not under health insurance right now," William Cook said. "So, it's a great opportunity. It's free."
"People have lost their health insurance, and there are many folks that just don't have the $30, $40, $50 co-pay, even if they do have health insurance," said Mary Lou Powell, senior vice president of patient care services at Rex.
Several local groups and organizations, such as Wake Health Services, Urban Minsitries of Wake County and Alliance Medical Ministry in Raleigh, also hold free or low-cost medical screenings on a regular basis.
WRAL Health Team consultant Dr. Allen Mask said regular health screenings are a key to improving health and extending life.
"I tell my patients all the time, 'You've got to know your numbers – your glucose, your cholesterol, your triglycerides, your blood pressure,’" he said.
Blood pressure, for example, should be checked several times a year.
"There's a number of factors that can affect blood pressure – cigarette smoking, salt intake, weight gain," he said. "Even as you get older, you can get hardening of the arteries, which can affect your blood pressure."
Mask said that there are approximately 7 million people in the United States who don't know they are diabetic.
About 50 percent of people, he said, have high blood pressure and don't know, he said. Of those who do, half aren't being adequately treated.
"You can't walk around with this being a guessing game," Mask said. "It's very important to get this information and take it back to your doctor."