Volunteers needed for biannual spring blood screening set for March 30, April 6

Buckhannon Rotary Club and WVU Medicine St. Joseph's Hospital partnering for community service fundraiser

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BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Rotary Club and WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital are teaming up once again to host spring blood screenings at this month’s end.

The spring blood screening is returning Saturday, March 30, and Saturday, April 6, at two locations – Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School and Community Care Clinic in Rock Cave, with a hospital-sponsored health fair scheduled for the April 6 screening at B-UMS.

All screenings will take place at the two locations from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on both Saturdays. To prepare for the blood screening, participants are asked to fast for 12 hours beforehand. The health fair will offer a slew of health screenings and information, according to a press release from the hospital.

James Powell, the chairperson for the Rotary blood screenings, said they have been doing the screenings – which are typically held twice a year in the spring and fall – for over 20 years.

“One of the reasons I think people should be interested is that most health insurance costs, as you know, have been going up and up,” Powell said. “When you do go for blood work on health insurance, for the most part, all of that goes toward your deductible, so if you’re going to order through a doctor, there’s a good chance from a pure financial aspect, it’s going to cost you a lot more.”

At the Rotary/WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital blood screening, a basic blood profile test costs $35, and those who participate may elect to undergo optional tests for colon cancer and thyroid conditions for an additional $5.

In addition, PSA (prostate cancer screening) testing is offered for $20, and Hemoglobin A1C for diabetes will cost $15.

Powell relayed several stories about people benefitting from utilizing the blood screenings, such people discovering they had cancer or diabetes.

“None of them had any idea they had these conditions,” Powell said. “A friend of mine about two-and-a-half years ago had been feeling tired, and we just thought ‘she was working a lot more, she’s been stressed out.’ Well, come to find out, she had some sort of a rare blood disease.”

He said the test did not say exactly what it was, but it let her know she needed to get more testing done.

Powell said one of the main reasons he sees people come out for the screenings is for basic checkups.

“As we get older, doctors may recommend starting to check things on a regular basis,” Powell said. “If you have tests done on a regular basis, you can have a history [of medical records], so if something is a little bit higher, you’ll know.”

Powell said Rotary has done the blood screenings for so long because it benefits the community in two ways.

One, it’s a community service for Rotary,” Powell said. “We are able to do the blood screening for the community at a reduced rate, and then the other side is, Rotary donates back to a lot of organizations, such as the Parish House.”
Powell said the screenings are performed by clinicians with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Community Care.

“[Those clinicians] actually draw the blood, and they do a fantastic job,” Powell said. “Rotary volunteers are the ones who help people fill out paperwork, give directions and answer questions afterward.”

He said Rotary is always looking for volunteers to help staff the screenings, and anyone interested can call him at either his office (304-472-1532) or on his cellphone, 304-613-7691.

Powell thanked the hospital and Community Care.

“Without St. Joseph’s, we could not have the blood screening,” Powell said. “We also want to thank Community Care for helping to make this possible.”

At the April 6 hospital health fair, additional screenings – including bone density testing, vein testing, glucose level testing, blood pressure testing and more – will be available.