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Minidoka Memorial Hospital Health Fair

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Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 3:09 pm

RUPERT –  The annual Minidoka Memorial Hospital (MMH) Health Fair is a life saver.

Just ask any of the people who received a health scare following inexpensive blood tests provided every year during the fair. Normally the tests cost around $135 but can be had for about $35 during the upcoming event.  The tests indicate everything from infections to cancer to diabetes.

“’I decided to take your cheap blood test and it saved my life,’” someone once told MMH Marketing Director Kim Vega.

“We’ve had several cancer diagnoses, leukemia , diabetics  - especially diabetes.  It’s one of those diseases that are becoming more prevalent. We have more people presenting with it,” said MMH RN and Education Coordinator Trena Phillips, who since 1999, has helped organize the annual event.

The health fair is scheduled from 8  a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 1, at the hospital located at 1224 8th Street.

Blood tests are currently being taken form 7 to 9 a.m. at the hospital. They will also be given at the fair. You can pick up your results at the fair and discuss the test with an on-site doctor. About 2500 blood tests are taken each year and on Monday the hospital had given about 150 of the tests.

“The lab people are busy,” Vega said.

She emphasized that the event will be at the hospital.

“The reason we’re holding it here is that it’s easier for the lab and cafeteria. They don’t have to pack up everything. It’s going to give people an opportunity to see what we’re doing with the renovations. We’ll have some diagrams of the (architect’s renderings) pictures of the hospital,” she said.

Also at the event will be various health related groups such as area gyms and health clubs. Also there will be chiropractors, a dentist and a dietician. The Lady Lions group will provide free eye screening and St. Luke’s Hospital will provide information about LifeFlight insurance. In all, about 50 health-related booths will set up at the hospital. 

Also in attendance will be dog therapy groups. The animals are routinely used in rest homes and hospitals.  It’s been found that they reduce anxiety and stress levels among patients, said the women.

“It’s a group that brings in animals for patients and just to provide companionship. They are specially trained animals. They’re therapy pets,” Vega said.

Vega and Phillips start organizing the event in August. They draw on workers from other hospital departments to help organize the event.

“We have a committee. There are probably eight people on the committee. We have somebody from the lab, somebody from the kitchen and the hospital volunteers,” Vega said.

 The event proves a valuable life saving activity for residents, the women said.

“It’s a great community event,” Vega said.

“It’s about prevention and educating the community,” Phillips said.

For more information call 438-0481.

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