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Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur, hospital may add more blood screening dates in the fall

BUCKHANNNON – The Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur and WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital are looking to add more dates for blood screenings.

Lisa Wharton, vice president of marketing, public relations and Foundation for St. Joseph’s, said all four Saturdays when they are offering the screenings have been booked. Nonetheless, officials organizing the annual community service project and fundraiser said they’re looking to add more dates in September or October.

Wharton is also a member of the Rotary Club.

“We’re only doing four Saturdays right now, and they’re already filled up,” Wharton said. “We can only take 75 people each Saturday, and they have timed appointments. There’s blood screenings going from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and there’s so many people every 15 minutes that will be coming in.”

Traditionally, the screenings take place at the Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School and at Tri-County Health Clinic/Community Care in Rock Cave, but due to COVID-19, they decided to have the screenings at the hospital by appointment only.

“We’re wanting to wait to see what happens with COVID and Upshur County,” Wharton said. “We had hoped to add more Saturdays in August, but right now with this spike in Upshur County, we felt like we should do four Saturdays, see how it goes and if it goes smoothly, we’ll definitely try to do something in September or October.”

She said usually the screenings bring out 1,500 to 1,600 people over two weekends at their usual locations.

“I’ve had a zillion calls from community members wanting to know if they could go through the blood screeninga, nd it’s such a savings,” Wharton said. “I talked to somebody who went ahead and had their blood work done and paid for it and they paid over $400 out-of-pocket because they hadn’t met their deductible, and this blood screening is $35.”

Basic blood profile tests were offered at $35, with additional testing for thyroid for $5, hemoglobin A1C for $15, colon cancer screening for $5 and prostate testing for $20. A new additional test for the Hepatitis C antibody was being offered for $20.

“We’ve done it for years, and I think the community has come to rely on it as a way to get their blood work done every spring and every fall,” Wharton said. “They can get the results to their doctor and not have to spend a huge amount of money out of pocket.”

She said the basic blood test screenings assist people who have to monitor chronic health conditions such as diabetes.

“A basic blood screening screens for all kinds of things, like calcium, iron, your glucose levels, cholesterol levels, potassium, and people say that they have caught things by having a blood test and they’ve caught diseases and conditions early,” Wharton said.

She said future dates for screenings will be posted on the Rotary Club’s Facebook page when they are available, and people can also sign up for appointments on the Facebook page.

“They just go to the Facebook page for Rotary and there’s a button on the Facebook page, you just click on it and it takes you straight to the appointment page,” Wharton said. “Then, you just pick a day and a time, fill your information out, and then that goes to one of our Rotarians and they send an email back saying we’ve confirmed your appointment for Saturday, at such and such date at this time.”

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