In the previous 2 Healthy Hampshire articles, I reviewed some facts and stats about blood donation.

About 3.7 percent of the United States population donates blood (that represents 10 percent of the people who are eligible to donate). Additionally, it is estimated that if an additional 1 percent of eligible donors gave blood, there would be no shortage of blood to donate to those who are in need.

There is no substitute for blood, it is in short supply and there is no shortage of people in need of it.

In our region, the Red Cross is having 2 blood drives in the month of August. On Thursday, Aug. 15, there is a blood drive at the Hope Christian Church in Augusta. The donation times are from 1:30 to 7 p.m. A week later, on Aug. 22, the Red Cross is having a blood drive at the Covenant Baptist Church in Romney. The donation times are also from 1:30 to 7 p.m.

It is optimal to schedule an appointment. That can be done by calling 1-800-REDCROSS and indicating your donation site and date. To save time registering on site, you can, in advance, log on to Rapid Pass (www.redcrossblood.org/donate/manage-my-donation/rapidpass.html).

Once on the website, you can follow the directions, input the information required and either print, download or e-mail the form to yourself and bring it with you to the donation center.

This will be one of the few occasions you will be asked to roll up your sleeves and not be required to do any work. 

 Besides Aug. 15 and 22, there is another time to do some sleeve rolling. That would be on the 2nd Saturday in October (yep just 2 months away) when the fall version of the Hampshire County Health Fair will take place at the Hope Christian Church in Augusta (yeah, the same place that will take your blood donation on Aug. 15 — a less-than-subliminal reminder).

This time the arms baring (not arms bearing) will be to get blood testing done at a very reasonable cost. Because the blood work is not through a physician order, the results will be mailed to the individual being tested and not to the primary care provider.

In turn, the results should be shared with the primary care provider, who can answer any questions in this regard. In fact, those who are planning to obtain blood testing at the fair would do well to discuss this with their physician in advance and get input as to what tests to order.

Also, available and only at the fall version of the fair, are retinal screenings provided by Dr. Wehner, an ophthalmologist. This exam evaluates the “back of the eye” and is a significant part of health monitoring for people with diabetes mellitus.

This particular screening requires that an appointment be made in advance. This exam is provided free of charge. Because the examination requires dilating the pupil with drops which causes a temporary blurring of vision, people who are having this exam performed will need someone to drive them back home when they leave the fair.

Liz Voit, who is the coordinator of the Hampshire County Health Fair, is the contact person to make appointments for this exam. Further information about when the eye appointments can be made and about other services and information available at the Health Fair will appear in upcoming Healthy Hampshire articles. 

 Speaking of rolling up sleeves, Hampshire Memorial Hospital is currently undergoing renovations and expansion in both the hospital and the Multispecialty Clinic.

The ongoing construction and renovations will have no significant negative impact on the Clinic's ability to provide care for its patients. The aim is to streamline, expand and improve the health care services available to our community.

The author is a member of the primary care provider team at the Multispecialty Clinic at Valley Health Hampshire Memorial Hospital. Other members of that team include Family Practitioner Dr. Andrew Wilcox, Nurse Practitioners Missy Strite and Angelina Musselman, and Physician Assistant Karen Kimmel.

The Clinic also offers specialty care in the fields of Gynecology, Podiatry, Cardiology, Pulmonary Medicine, General Surgery and Gastroenterology. 

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