August 31, 2010 > Washington Hospital Library and Mobile Clinic Serve Tri-City Community
Washington Hospital Library and Mobile Clinic Serve Tri-City Community
Health Screenings Help to Prevent Serious Illness
You probably know it's important to stay on top of your health with regular screenings that test your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose (sugar) levels, as well as other factors that raise your risk for serious diseases. But finding the time or resources can be difficult.
Washington Hospital is working to make sure the local community has access to preventive health screenings. Bone-density (osteoporosis), blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) screenings are available at the Washington Hospital Community Health Resource Library while the Washington on Wheels (W.O.W.) Mobile Health Clinic offers a number of free and reduced-price health screenings to those who don't have medical coverage or have difficulty accessing health care.
The goal of the Community Health Resource Library is to build a healthier community by providing information and resources that promote wellness and prevention. Health screenings help to detect disease early so that treatments are more effective and to prevent serious health complications. For example, high blood pressure and excessive body weight can increase your chances for serious diseases like heart disease and stroke.
"The bone-density screening identifies if you are at risk for osteoporosis," said Lucy Castillo, operations coordinator at the Community Health Resource Library. "We recommend that people come before their annual physical. That way they can take a copy to their physician and it can be included in their medical records. The Library should not be used as a replacement for a doctor's visit."
Health Information is Available
The screenings are just one way the Community Health Resource Library can help you stay healthy. The Library also offers a variety of information resources to help keep your health on track and make informed decisions about your health care. Anyone can use the Library.
"We are a lending library where you can check out books, videos and other materials and take them home," Castillo said. "You can also use our computer to access health information, including Krames Online. Krames is an up-to-date patient education library with information on more than 4,000 health topics."
Krames and a number of other health information resources are also available at the Library's website at www.healthlibrary.org. In addition, the website provides detailed information about the Library and the services it offers.
The Community Health Resource Library is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The blood pressure and BMI screenings are available anytime during those hours. However, the bone-density screening is only open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
"There are volunteers on hand who can help you with these screenings," Castillo said. "And they can help you find the resources you need."
Keeping People Healthy
Washington Hospital is also keeping the community healthy with the help of its Washington on Wheels Mobile Health Clinic, a 36-foot mobile medical unit that offers quality health care services to children, adults and seniors. A number of free and low-cost screenings are provided to those who don't have health insurance or have difficulty accessing health care.
"Our goal is to keep people healthy and out of the hospital, and I think we are pretty effective," said Sherrie Kneebone, FNP-BC, nurse practitioner for the W.O.W. Mobile Health Clinic. "If not properly treated, diabetes and other chronic diseases can cause serious illness requiring hospitalization. Health screenings like blood glucose testing can help with the detection and management of diseases like diabetes. If left untreated, diabetes can damage the kidneys, eyes and limbs. It can even lead to premature death."
The W.O.W. Mobile Health Clinic offers blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings as well as BMI, prostate and thyroid screenings.
Kneebone said she is seeing a lot of people who have lost their jobs - and their health insurance - in the recession. "Many of them are in their late 50s and early 60s and struggling to find work. It's hard," she said.
Managing diabetes and other serious illnesses can be difficult without easy access to health care. According to Kneebone, the Mobile Health Clinic sees a number of patients on a regular basis, helping them manage their chronic illnesses and keeping their risk factors in check.
"We refer a lot of people to the Community Health Resource Library so they can get more information about their illness and learn how to take better care of themselves," Kneebone said. "I also urge the ladies over age 50 to go to the Library and get a bone density test. It's so important. Washington Hospital offers so much to the community. It's all about keeping the community well."
To learn more about the W.O.W Mobile Health Clinic, including locations and hours, visit www.whhs.com/wow or call (510) 608-3203. To learn more about the wide variety of community services that Washington Hospital offers, visit www.whhs.com/community.