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Free flu shots and traumatic brain injury screenings offered at ISU/Ada County Health Screening Nov. 20

November, 11, 2014

Free flu shots and screenings for hepatitis C and traumatic brain injury are among services offered at a community health screening Thursday, Nov. 20, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center, 1311 E. Central Drive.

The screening is the third of six scheduled at various Treasure Valley locations through March for adults with no insurance or limited access to preventive health care. Appointments aren’t necessary.

Screening co-director Dr. Glenda Carr reminds adults to immunize against the flu.  “An immunization not only protects you, but can help others from getting the flu, especially if you are around the young, the elderly or people with chronic health conditions," said Carr, an ISU-Meridian clinical assistant pharmacy professor.

Other free services include:

  • Blood pressure checks, medication reviews and disease education
  • Dental evaluations
  • On-site testing for blood sugar levels, cholesterol and HIV  
  • Hearing and eye screenings
  • Nutrition assessment and recommendations
  • Health education
  • Depression and alcohol screenings and questionnaires

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people born between 1954 and 1965 get screened for hepatitis C, a blood-borne infection that increases a person’s chance of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.  There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

“Hepatitis C can take up to 30 years to seriously affect the liver,” said Judy Thorne, ISU-Meridian’s viral hepatitis and HIV educator.  “If an individual knows that they have chronic hep C, they can take proactive steps toward better health.” 

The traumatic brain injury screenings are new this year, thanks to federal funding awarded to ISU’s Institute of Rural Health.  IRH researcher Russell Spearman notes more than 32,000 Idahoans are living with a severe traumatic brain injury sustained in car crashes, military combat or playing sports.

The free Community Health Screening Program began in March 2010 through a partnership with ISU-Meridian, Ada County, Central District Health, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The full screening process takes about 90 minutes, and patients in immediate need are given appointments at low-cost Treasure Valley clinics for additional care.  For more information, call 373-1700 or email healthyU@isu.edu.

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