Richmond County Daily Journal
It was three years ago when Registered Nurse Kim Puckett got the chance to make a positive impact at the Sandhills Regional Medical Center Spring Health Fair, but she recalls it as if it were yesterday.
“We had a younger man, I’d say he was in his 40’s, come up to me when I was doing the urine screenings, and the test showed he had an elevated level of glucose,” she said. “I asked if he was diabetic and he said he wasn’t, so I sent him over for the Hemoglobin A1C test.”
The next test confirmed her suspicions.
“He didn’t have insurance, or a primary care provider, he was just taking advantage of services in the community,” Puckett said. “It was a good thing, too, because he wouldn’t have known. We set him up with a primary care provider, and when I saw him the next year he was taking very good care of himself and thanked me. It made it worth working that whole day to help that one person.”
Puckett said when most people find out their diabetic, they’ve already been one for about seven years.
Saturday from 8 to noon more people will get a chance to find out just where they are in life at this year’s health fair.
Services offered will include lab work, screenings and even simple height and weight ratio measurements and educational items about staying healthy.
“The whole point of the Health Fair is to help people take advantage of these services,” said Sandhills Marketing Director Kim Harrington.
Medical imaging manager Bob Driggers spoke to the importance of bone density screening.
“Bone density screening is a valuable tool to help a patient's physician diagnose osteopenia/osteoporisis,” he said. “It is wise for any post-menopausal woman to be screened for osteopenia and osteoporosis. While osteoporosis occurs in both genders and across the ethnic spectrum, it is most common in Caucasian and Asian women.”
“The blood profiles provide a comprehensive look at several physiological systems in the body at a cost that is very reasonable for the patients, all in one panel,” Laboratory Manager Rhonda Outlaw said. “The cost savings would amount to anywhere from $185 to $1,100, depending on the tests done and whether they were drawn at a physician’s office or on an outpatient basis.
“The panel itself will give indication of possible problems with kidney functions, hematological functions, like anemia, platelet function and infection; cardiovascular disease, thyroid functions, diabetes detection, liver functions and electrolyte function, like Cushings Syndrome, potassium regulation and dehydration detection.”
“While the blood profile discounts are significant, we also want people to be reminded that dozens of other free screenings will be available on Saturday,” Harrington said. “We can’t say it enough what a huge savings this is for people with or without health insurance.”
Other services offered at Saturday’s Health Fair will include free interpretations of lab work, allergy screenings, body fat analysis, physical endurance screenings, kidney education and consultation, skin cancer evaluations and many more.
The hemoglobin test that Puckett said let the man know he was diabetic will be available for $5.