Sunday, November 17th, 2019

New topics, services at Healthy Steps health fair

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Parkview Huntington Hospital’s (PHH) semi-annual health and wellness fair, Healthy Steps, is a familiar fixture on many local residents’ calendars. It’s a chance to take advantage of free health screenings, reduced-cost lab work and other wellness-related activities, all in one convenient Saturday morning. The next event will take place on October 26.

In addition to the traditional offerings, Healthy Steps planners work to bring new elements to the event that are useful and interesting for guests. New offerings may educate guests about procedures and technology – such as the hands-on laparoscopic surgery demo guests tried at the past several events – or new services, such as care for chronic, non-healing wounds. And sometimes, those new elements tackle challenging questions or help start important conversations.

Advance care planning
Featured this time will be advance care planning – the process of thinking about and sharing your values, goals and wishes related to future healthcare decisions so your family and healthcare team can respect your personal choices in the event you are unable to speak for yourself due to your medical condition. Sometimes, before a major surgery, a person may consider issues like assigning medical power of attorney or filing a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order, if that is their wish. But lots of adults put off thinking about these important matters, which can lead to agonizing decisions for their loved ones, made under very emotional circumstances, should they be unexpectedly injured or become seriously ill.

Parkview has an advance care planning team to help with calm, thoughtful decision-making long before any emergency arises. Specially trained team members – with backgrounds in home healthcare, hospice care, counseling, EMS and other areas – can assist people in exploring what matters most to them and having conversations with family members and healthcare providers about their health wishes. Two team members will be at the booth with an entertaining, interactive exercise guests can try, or to talk one-on-one with anyone who has questions.

Support for older adults facing mental health challenges
In recent years, Americans have come to understand that anxiety, depression, addiction and other mental health issues are far more common than anyone realized a decade ago, and that physical and mental health are inextricably connected. More people are seeking help and information, and communities are working to put more resources toward mental health.

Depression, trauma and grief can trigger suicidal thinking in some people, and seniors are especially at risk when stressors in their lives – such as loss of a spouse – put them under pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide rates in this country are highest among older adults, especially in men over 85. And for seniors who live in rural communities, the risk is greatly increased.

Parkview’s LifeBridge Senior Program was created to offer compassionate support and treatment for older adults who need – but may be reluctant to ask for – help in regaining a sense of optimism or purpose in life. LifeBridge’s program manager and counselor will be on hand to offer information about activities to help individuals shift their perspective by creating new social connections, as well as therapies that can help lift the burden of grief, anxiety or depression. LifeBridge is located at Parkview Wabash Hospital.

Finding a healthcare provider
Healthy Steps will also feature physicians or other team members from local Parkview Physicians Group practices in family medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, orthopedics and podiatry. Guests are encouraged to talk with them.

Lab work, health screenings, flu shots, imaging
Classic Healthy Steps services will all be available once again. Free health screenings include hearing, vision, dental, skin cancer, foot health, balance and bone density. Also free are blood pressure checks, height/ weight/BMI measurement, grip strength testing, and help with Parkview MyChart accounts and Parkview OnDemand (virtual visits with a healthcare provider for non-emergency needs).

While supplies last, flu shots will be available on a walk-in basis for $20 each. Reduced-cost single lab tests offered are: Hemogram (anemia, $10); TSH (thyroid function, $25); Hemoglobin A1C (diabetes, $15); PSA (prostate cancer, $25); Ultrasensitive CRP (early heart disease, $20; vitamin D 25 Hydroxy (bone health, $40); and Iron, $10. Wellness packages will again bundle certain tests for one fee: Package A (comprehensive metabolic profile plus lipids, $30); Package B (Package A plus Hemogram, $40); Package C (Package B plus TSH and Hemoglobin A1C, $75); and Package D (Package C plus PSA, men only, age 50-plus, $95). For any wellness package, a guest must fast 10 to 12 hours before the blood draw. Water and regular medications are allowed during the fast. A lab draw fee of $5 per person is charged, regardless of whether one test or several are selected.

Imaging tests will be available by prior appointment: HeartSmart CT Scan (flat $50 fee) and digital mammogram (PHH will file with insurance). To schedule either of these tests during the hours of the Healthy Steps event, call (260) 355-3400. Appointments can be made for other times by calling (877) 225-5747.

Lots of information will be available on a wide range of topics, including the Medication Assistance Program, women’s health, cancer prevention, how to care for your health over the decades, sleep hygiene, smoking cessation, Parkview Trauma programs, palliative care, the Parkview Huntington Center for Wound Healing, joint replacement, adult and pediatric therapies, Medicare’s annual wellness visit, respiratory conditions and more.

Healthy Steps will take place Saturday, October 26, from 7 to 11 a.m., at PHH. The hospital’s main entrance will open promptly at 7 a.m. Guests who arrive early are advised to wait in their vehicles, as admission will not be allowed while set-up is underway. Beginning at 7 a.m., free valet service will be available, and the HOSPITALity Café will be serving breakfast. Stylish and unique gifts will be available in the gift shop.

Questions about the event? Call (260) 355-3213.