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Community health, outreach a focus at NNMC
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Jan 04, 2014 | 1569 views | 0 0 comments | 47 47 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo -- Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks hosts monthly Community Health Fairs helping the public receive low-cost health screenings for various medical ailments. The fairs continue throughout the year on the first Thursday of every month beginning at 7:30 a.m.
Tribune photo -- Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks hosts monthly Community Health Fairs helping the public receive low-cost health screenings for various medical ailments. The fairs continue throughout the year on the first Thursday of every month beginning at 7:30 a.m.
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Northern Nevada Medical Center (NNMC) did not host its usual crowd Thursday during its monthly Community Health Fair, but that caused no panic at Sparks’ expansive medical facility on the east edge of the city. The health center kept its monthly health fair on the first Thursday of the month, as the public has come to expect, but was not surprised to see a smaller turnout, given it was only the second day of the new year.

The nearly four-hour fairs held in NNMC’s main lobby each month have become popular with the local community seeking low-cost health screenings and various tests, according to NNMC Director of Marketing and Physician Development Don Butterfield.

“Typically we have about 100 people come to the fairs on a monthly basis,” Butterfield said Friday following the event. "We have been doing these health fairs for many, many years now and I think people have learned that we are a great resource if they are in need of a health screening that is cost effective.”

Thursday’s services, many of which are offered every month, included free body fat and blood pressure screenings along with an “Ask the Nurse” station for various health inquiries. Other services, such as EKG exams, complete blood count tests and thyroid function screenings range in price from $15 to $40 and can be done during the 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. window of the health fair.

Butterfield said the lipid profile screening, which covers cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL/LDL ratios, is one of the most popular services offered at the monthly health fairs. He said many people’s personal physicians require these tests to be done prior to any treatment, which brings them to NNMC where they find there is even more to take advantage of.

“People who need these tests for their doctors might not have insurance,” Butterfield said. “And even if they do have insurance, they are seeing us as a cost effective solution to these exams. The fact they are offered at these monthly fairs where everything is all in one place is another plus.”

The success of the monthly fairs and its individual screenings has prompted NNMC to begin offering quarterly comprehensive vascular screenings, which will begin Feb. 22 at NNMC. The comprehensive screening will focus on preventing or discovering vascular diseases like abdominal aortic aneurysm, carotid artery disease and peripheral artery disease, all of which increase the chance of heart disease or stroke. All three screenings, which will continue quarterly on Saturday’s throughout the year, can be done for $90 and take about 30 minutes to complete, which Butterfield said will likely cater to an ever-evolving local community.

“We view it as a service to the community,” Butterfield said. “I think people nowadays are trying to be more health conscious and there is always a need for a low-cost and efficient screening for these diseases. We will keep this sort of thing going for the foreseeable future.”

The community outreach continues to broaden at NNMC through the development of its lecture series hosted by various physicians and specialists on the Sparks campus. The lectures can range in topic from headaches (Jan. 21) to Heart Arrhythmias (Feb. 13) and Hip Pain (March 11) and will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year.

The next NNMC Community Health Fair will be Feb. 6 and more information about all community events and outreach programs can be found in the ‘Community Events’ section of www.nnmc.com.
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