On November 2, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital opened its doors for a health fair and free cholesterol screening. Despite the cold and need to fast for up to 12 hours, many showed up early and lines were winding down hallways. Information and raffle tickets were passed out along with water so everyone was well hydrated prior to blood work being completed. Marcus Daly’s Home Health and Hospice Chaplain, Doug Peterson, started singing “If you’re happy and you know it” to get everyone in the spirit of the morning, which brought a lot of laughter. After registration attendees were taken to blood drawing stations and refreshments were provided directly after lab work was completed. Approximately 280 people received free cholesterol checks with same day results.
After the cholesterol screening a few chose to come back later for results, but many stayed to visit the booths and educational opportunities. The Imaging Department provided tours of the latest in MRI technology, the GE Optima MR450w wide bore system located in a custom GEM Suite. With this new MRI a patient can expect a more comfortable exam with open, flexible coils that naturally follow the contours of the human body. Drew Hayward, RT(R), Imaging Department Head, provided tours non-stop from 7 to 11:30 a.m. Many came out and expressed how informed and fascinated they were by this tour and the technology. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s Imaging Department is the only facility in the state of Montana that offers this particular MRI, which features no radiation and an image second to none.
People could also have their blood pressure, height, weight, body mass index, and vision checked with the EMS team. The staffing at this station never caught a break as visitors walked out with cards in hand documenting the information so it was available to them for future use.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Services was the next place of interest, demonstrating the heart on Marcus Daly’s Echo Stress Test technology system. Patients were educated on the many views of the heart and what a clogged artery looked like when found during one of these tests. Many commented that they hoped they would not have to visit Cardiac Rehabilitation Services personally but it was nice to be familiar with the technology just in case.
The Rehabilitation Center and Services department provided tours of the new facility and demonstrations of exercises to combat osteoporosis. Approximately 60 people were escorted to the rehabilitation center for strengthening exercises and ways to improve postural alignment.
Many found their doctors photos on the “Physician’s Wall” and visited the Surgery booth to ask questions about joint replacements. According to the head of the Surgery Department, “The health fair was fun. The community was genuinely interested in the hospital’s services and asked very specific questions about hip and shoulder joint replacements. It was a great opportunity to share about Marcus Daly’s exceptionally low surgical site infection rate at .06 compared to the national average of 2.5 and how Dr. Jeremiah Clinton is fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow surgery. It was a great morning!”
Fiscal Services answered many questions about the medical billing and offered tips on navigating the process. Patients were informed about the new MyHealth portal that allows patients to quickly and securely request prescription refills, make clinic appointments, and obtain lab and imaging results online.
The Nutrition Department staff offered information about the differences between the many milk and sugar options on the market, pointing out the healthiest choices. There was a taste test and a few were surprised with the results. General Health helped take some of the confusion out of general guidelines for both men and women’s health screenings, and Respiratory Services educated the crowd on the dangers of tobacco use. Home Health and Hospice provided a cozy area to rest and learn about what services they have available. The Daly Hospital Foundation introduced the Power of Health Initiative and updated many on the Intensive Care Unit capital campaign.
After visiting all of the booths and getting punch cards marked off, visitors entered their card into a raffle for a free digital blood pressure monitor which was won by Ruth Williams of Hamilton. “This is good news,” said Ruth. “I am sure to put it to good use. I work out regularly to stay in good health. Thank you for the free cholesterol screening and the health fair. I really enjoyed it and am glad the hospital is helping the community get healthier!”
“Thank you to everyone for participating and contributing their time to make our health fair and free cholesterol screening successful,” said Amy James-Linton, the hospitals Marketing Director. “It’s a joy to know we are impacting our community in a healthy way and we look forward to the next one. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!”