Poked, Prodded and Squeezed for Dear Life
Published on March 15, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman
(MERIDIAN) A hands-on effort to save lives recently invaded Broadview University. The Boise campus held its first-ever Health Fair during Heart Health Month, and organizations of all sizes came together to help. From the American Red Cross on one side of the building to the enormous pink bus from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center staged in the parking lot, several people took advantage of the services offered by being poked, prodded, and squeezed for dear life.
On Tuesday, February 19, two students in the campus’s massage therapy program offered complimentary chair massages while three students in the medical assistant program offered free basic health checks and cholesterol screenings for anyone who asked. While workers from the Red Cross collected pint-sized donations from 14 donors, a technician from St. Al’s performed free bone density screenings and took appointments for its Mobile Mammography Unit. A representative from Juice Plus and a skin care expert were also on hand to provide health-worthy information.
“Today I am getting the works,” Veronica Kelley, a woman visiting from Nampa, said. “I recently moved back to this area and my insurance doesn’t cover well care. I heard about this event in the newspaper and made it a point to come here.”
The works means Veronica is here to have everything checked. She patiently sat through being poked, squeezed, and committed—poked in the finger for a cholesterol check, getting her foot squeezed for a bone density check, and then committing to an appointment two days later for a mammogram.
“I cannot tell you how much I appreciate being able to come here and have all of this done,” she said.
On Thursday, February 21, Veronica showed up for her appointment on St. Al’s 40-foot-long, bright pink bus. For six straight hours, two technicians provided Veronica and 21 other women with potentially lifesaving breast exams. The mobile unit, which is part of an outreach program, travels the region and provides the same screening services that can be received from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.
“This event exceeded our expectations for being held the first time at this location,” Jaime, a technician on the bus, said. “Our minimum goal is 13, so performing 22 mammograms in one day is awesome.”
The event was so successful that the bus will be coming back to Broadview University on Wednesday, October 16, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Mammograms will be available for women between the ages of 35 and 64. Insurance companies—which typically cover mammograms at 100 percent—are billed; grants are available for women who do not have insurance. No one is turned away.