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Bemidji Rotary, Sanford Health host 7th blood screening event

For the seventh year, the Bemidji Rotary Club and Sanford Bemidji partnered to hold a blood screening event from 7 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. The event will continue on Thursday and Friday.

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Bonnie Johnson has her blood drawn by a Sanford Health phlebotomist during the first day of the Bemidji Rotary’s blood screening event on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI — For the seventh year, the Bemidji Rotary Club and Sanford Bemidji partnered to hold a blood screening event on Wednesday morning at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

The event was also held Thursday morning and will continue from 7 to 10 a.m. Friday, May 20.

Similar to 2021's event, people were asked to register for a time slot to participate in the blood screening, which includes a simple blood draw followed by light refreshments.

Bemidji Noon Rotarian Marilyn Miller, an organizer of the event, said proceeds from the screening will go toward completing phase two of the Natural Playground at North Country Park. Money raised at last year’s event helped support the creation of the playground.

The second phase, Miller explained, will likely include adding a few different features to the park, including log play structures and a slide.

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“Phase two is now being developed and the Rotary has committed $15,000 to that,” Miller said. “If enough money is raised this year, that project will start at the end of the summer.”

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Participants check in at the front desk area during the first day of the Bemidji Rotary’s blood screening event on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

The annual blood screening event typically brings in about 500 people throughout the three mornings, Miller estimated. To her, the partnership between the Rotary Club and Bemidji Sanford helps the event remain successful each year.

“It’s been a big partnership over the years,” Miller said. “The community is very pleased to have this event. It helps a great cause.”

The cost of the test 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).

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Bruce Premo has his blood drawn by a Sanford Health phlebotomist during the first day of the Bemidji Rotary’s blood screening event on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Sanford Laboratory Services Supervisor Todd Glen said the blood screening can help participants learn if they have issues with their cholesterol levels, kidney function, liver function and more.

“It’s a good overall health checkup,” Glen said.

He also added that since many people were staying home and unable to attend regular doctor appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic, the blood screening can be helpful for people to know if there's any cause for concern.

“It’s good to see if anything developed during that time that maybe they didn’t realize,” Glen said. “Then they can reach out to their providers.”

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Appointments are still available for Friday’s blood screening by calling (218) 333-2277 .

Madelyn Haasken is the multimedia editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is a 2020 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Mass Communication, with minors in writing and design. In her free time, she likes watching hockey, doing crossword puzzles and being outside.
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