Samaritan to sponsor health fair May 17

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A visitor to the 2013 Samaritan Community Health Fair undergoes back screening. The 2014 fair is May 17.

MOSES LAKE - Low-cost (and in some cases free) health screenings and lots of health information will be available at the Samaritan Community Health Fair, from 7 to 11 a.m. May 17 at Samaritan Clinic, 1550 South Pioneer Way.

This will be the sixth annual health fair, hospital spokeswoman Connie Opheikens said. Previously they were held in the fall, she said.

One of the biggest attractions of the health fair is the low-cost blood screening, Opheikens said. The basic test is $5 and includes assessment of cholesterol, lipids (fats in the blood) and blood sugar.

Separate blood tests for thyroid (TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone) and prostate (PSA, prostate specific antigen) functions are available also. They are $15 each, Opheikens said.

The basic blood test does require fasting for 12 hours prior to the blood draw, Opheikens said. People who plan to take the blood screen should take water and prescription medications only.

There are free screenings for bone density, body composition, diabetes and blood pressure. "They call high blood pressure the silent killer for a reason," Opheikens said. There's also free screening for back, neck and foot issues, she said.

Departments throughout the clinic and hospital will distribute educational material on staying healthy, she said, as well as information about their services.

There will be information about lung health, and Inland Northwest Blood Center will have a booth on blood donation. Doctors from the family medicine and orthopedic departments will be on hand, and possibly from obstetrics, surgery and others.

People who may experience a colonoscopy can get a close-up look at the equipment, Opheikens said. "She actually brings the machine they run through you."

The blood draw will be on the ground floor of Samaritan Clinic, but information booths will be on all three floors, Opheikens said. The health fair coincides with National Hospital Week, she said.

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