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    Posted by: Jill Schafer, Fisher-Titus Medical Center

    Date: May 01, 2015 8:37 AM

    This question is a different then reporting but I am hoping you will have ideas or proven methods.

    Due to our CHA results we are doing Blood pressures and Blood sugar screenings at our local food pantries. We know these are the people we need to reach, but we have difficulty getting people to agree to have the screening. Has anyone else encountered this and how have you helped them to see the importance of the screening?________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Response: Elisabeth Lucas, The Valley Hospital
    Date: May 01, 2015 9:43 AM
    Hi Jill,
    I don’t know if this helps, but we had a situation where we were trying to offer free screenings to an underserved population in our town by working with a couple local churches. It took us over a year just to get our foot physically in the door of one of the churches. We found that the trust factor was really the biggest problem. We really needed to build trust with a couple members of the church and the pastors so they could be our cheerleaders. People also didn’t want to give any personal information for the blood work. If you are requiring an identifier for your screenings, people may be hesitant to identify themselves as someone who needs food assistance.

    We started with a very low key education program. People could register with the church if they want but it wasn’t required. After the education program, we offered the opportunity for people to sign up for a screening that we would have at a later date. We had a good response and got about 15 people to commit to signing up. Our cheerleaders were key.

    Another thing you could consider doing is signing people up for a screening that physically takes place at the hospital. By going to the hospital, they are not identified as members of the food pantry.

    Good luck. Feel free to call me if you want to chat.

    Response: Lynn Sherman, BMCJAX
    Date: May 01, 2015 1:13 PM
    Hi Jill,
    We have created a community partnership with several of our local congregations located in areas of high health disparity to provide annual screenings at their location. This allows us to follow those with abnormal values to ensure they get the treatment they need. The people visiting the pantry may think the results may influence what foods they are allowed to get. Additionally,they are likely not to participate because that was not the purpose of their visit, especially if they didn’t know you were going to be there.

    Response: Dee Wimberley, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
    Date: May 01, 2015 4:10 PM
    We too have established what we call the Congregational Health Network. We have partnered with over 500 churches in and around the Memphis area to help reach those patients who may not reach out to us or anyone else for help. If anyone would like more information about this project and possibly establishing one at your hospital, I will be more than happy to facilitate a conference call for you to discuss it. Please contact me at dee.wimberley@mlh.org. We have not tried the food banks, but rather have had some success holding events in our most impoverished zip code to do basic screenings and education.

    Response: Nickie Fickel, Summit Health
    Date: May 04, 2015 9:46 AM
    How are you treating these folks after the screen? For example, if you find a critical value how do you follow up? Are there people there to help them sign up for services/insurance. Maybe some of their concern is that they find something wrong but then they won’t have the capacity to have follow up care. It will be just another thing for them to worry about that they can’t afford/control. Is there any way that you could assure them that they would receive free/low cost follow up care if they had abnormal values? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Response: Lynn Sherman, BMCJAX
    Date: May 04, 2015 10:40 AM
    Hi Nickie,
    We have RNs who serve as health coaches to review the result of lab work at every screening. She/he also provides health literature on the needed subject and a list of free/low cost clinics to get health care. The clinics will help them register for their services at the time the appointment is made. If the results require urgent care, we send to the hospital via ambulance. If it just requires follow up, our nurses will call 1 to 2 weeks post screening to make sure the participant has seen a doctor, if not, they follow up again until there is confirmation the participant has seen a physician for the abnormal value. Hope this is helpful. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Response: Nykole Parks, Arnot Health
    Date: May 04, 2015 12:17 PM

    Up until the beginning of 2014 we provided BP and Blood glucose screenings in the soup kitchen and in an a location where emergency food and emergency aid for housing was received. It was challenging to get people to participate in the screenings. I noticed the more in CRISIS the individuals were the less interested they were in any screenings. However, we moved to the soup kitchen and found after a few visits people began to trust us and people would participate and accept the screening. We did have a community partner who provided uninsured information on how to get free screenings for Cancer. We also provided them with information about the Health Ministries FREE clinic where they could go and get help. We still provide FREE BP screens. Having this support does help. However, when they are homeless it is hard to follow up with them so we do as much simple (for example, rinse the can food before eating to reduce the salt ) education at the table during screening as we can.

    We use standards for follow up based on JN7 guidelines for blood pressures and the ADA for diabetes. We have a call center staffed with Registered Nurses, Health on Demand to make follow up calls to participants who have results that fall out of the guidelines. As a side, in 2013 I believe, the FDA ruled that blood glucose monitor companies had to provide validity data with people undiagnosed with diabetes using the glucose machine. NYSDOH has enforced this ruling. So far we have only found one blood glucose monitor company who is approved to use on undiagnosed patients .

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