Annual Rotary blood screening event continues through Friday
The Bemidji Rotary kicked off its annual blood screening event on Wednesday morning. Appointments are still available from 7 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, and Friday, May 19.
BEMIDJI — The main entrance of the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center was a buzz of activity on Wednesday morning as the Bemidji Rotary kicked off its eighth annual three-day blood screening event.
Marilyn Miller, a Rotary Club member and chair of the event said they usually expect around 500 people to participate in the screening between the three days, and added that there are still appointments available for Thursday, May 18, and Friday, May 19.
They are accepting some walk-ins but prefer people to make appointments.
The simple blood test offers community members an inexpensive way to discover a wealth of information regarding their health including the diagnosis and possible treatment of many diseases.
The cost is $35 and includes screenings for cholesterol (blood lipids), triglyceride (blood fats), high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), glucose (blood sugar), creatinine, hemoglobin, white blood cell count and liver (ALT).
"You can always get blood work done through regular doctor's appointments but this way you pay upfront, you get your results almost immediately through your My Sanford Chart, and you don't have to deal with any insurance or co-pays," Miller said. "It's just a straight $35 and Rotary gets a portion of that."
She added that this year the proceeds are going to a variety of local Rotary Club projects.
"We don't have a specific thing it's going to but we are involved with a youth leadership summer camp, a student exchange program, our Ridgeway Neighborhood Initiative and we have grants available to community organizations, so there's a number of things this will support," Miller explained.
According to Todd Glen, supervisor of laboratory services at Sanford Bemidji, the screening offers folks a chance to get an overall check-up on their health without the requirement of seeing a doctor for specific things.
"Sometimes things will pop up on the test that then folks can go see their regular primary care doctor and follow up on," Glen said. "It's a really good deal and part of the proceeds are able to go back to Rotary to help with the projects they do in the community. So the person gets something and the community gains something from it as well."
Miller also added that for those without insurance or a primary care doctor or who simply don't use medical services often, the screening is a good way for them to come in and get things checked out.
"A lot of people look forward to it every year," Miller left off. "It's kind of on their radar that when May comes around, 'Keep your eye out and we're going to go do that blood screening.'"
Fasting is not a requirement for the test, but participants may still fast with the exception of water for between 9-12 hours prior. For questions about taking any prescription medications, participants may contact their primary care provider.
For more information and to register, call (218) 333-2277 or visit sanfordhealth.org/classes-and-events/bemidji-rotary-blood-screening-event.