More about the University Hospitals Family Health & Safety Day

By Steve Baldridge

More about the University Hospitals Family Health & Safety Day

People are funny, aren’t they? Some of us are hypochondriacs who are sure every cough, sneeze, twinge or spot is a sign of impending death. Others try to shrug off a tumor the size of a watermelon or sudden blindness as “probably that stomach flu that’s going around.” Somewhere in the middle is wisdom. Realistically, not everything is deadly, but some things can be. Not every serious condition has obvious signs – even if you know what you are looking for. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always know what to look for, and I’m a nurse! You and I cannot head off or treat medical conditions if we don’t know what to watch out for or how to proceed. When it comes to our health, information is vital. Generally, the sooner you and your doctor can identify and treat any medical condition, the better the outcome. That’s why knowing you risks, getting screened for higher risk areas, and seeing your family medicine doctor regularly is so important.

 On August 24 UH Samaritan Medical Center is hosting a Family Health and Safety Fair where we will offer several important free health screenings, as well as provide other very useful related information. The screenings will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the UH Administrative Services Building, 663 East Main Street in Ashland Ohio. Most of these screening take only a few minutes, but some of them require a little more time, so space may be limited for some of these tests.

 What will be available? A partial list includes:

 Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) are tests that show how well your lungs are working. The tests measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow, and gas exchange. This information can help your healthcare provider diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders.

 There are 2 types of disorders that cause problems with air moving in and out of the lungs:

Obstructive. This is when air has trouble flowing out of the lungs because of airway resistance. This causes less flow of air.

Restrictive. This is when the lung tissue or chest muscles can’t expand enough. This creates problems with air flow, mostly because you have less lung volume.

 Body Mass Index.  Learning how much you should weigh is not as simple as looking at a height-weight chart. It also includes knowing the amount of bone, muscle, and fat in your body. The amount of fat is the most important measurement. A good way to know how much fat you have is the body mass index (BMI). It is not a perfect measure. But it gives a fairly good idea of how much of your body is fat. Your body mass may vary based on your age or ethnicity. What is your BMI and what does it mean?

 Along with these and other screenings we will have experts available to answer your questions on topics like pain management and alternatives to opioids, accessing free calcium scoring, upcoming community education classes, and more.

 Free sports physicals will also be offered through the Ashland Urgent Care from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 Of particular interest will be a presentation by representatives from Appleseed Community Mental Health Center who will introduce us to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study (better known as the ACE study). The study demonstrated a strong link between adverse childhood experiences and health and social problems as an adult.  These findings make us stop and ask a very basic question in regards to human health and behavior: “Is there really a connection between our emotional and physical health?” The simple answer is “There may very well be a link.” When we experience trauma as a child we make choices to cope with the trauma and to treat ourselves in any way we can, no matter the long term consequences. If they help us cope at the time, these actions and thoughts can become habits we continue throughout life. When we do not recognize why we do what we do we are much less likely to change our behaviors, behaviors that are actually hurting us or even killing us. But if individuals and society learn to recognize and prevent, rather than only treat those traumatic events, we can change the course of people’s lives. This 1 hour presentation will be given at 10:00, 11:00 and 12:00 during the health fair and is supported by funding from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County.

 With these offerings, and so much more, it looks like Saturday morning, August 24, is going to be a busy morning. Find out more details on the calendar of events page at www.uhhospitals.org

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