By Frank Lewis
In partnership with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Compass Community Health held a Free Health Screening Friday at their health care center, located at 1634 11th St., in Portsmouth.
“We are partnering with Compass to offer these health screenings,” Libby Brisker of RSVP said. “A main focus of RSVP is healthy futures, and that is to keep our population in home and independent as possible.”
Brisker said free screenings — including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar tests — were being offered to those who came to the health care center.
“We have practitioners on hand to talk to people when they get their results,” Brisker said.
Other partners for the event included The Ohio State University Extension Office, which was on hand to offer information on diabetes and dermascreen screening to check for sun damage on patients’ skin.
“Today is a very big day for us,” Compass Community Health Medical Director Dr. Terry Johnson said. “It’s a chance for the public to come in and see what we do; how we integrate primary care with all sorts of behavioral health and the full gamut of things you can get taken care of here.”
Compass officials said they want to get the word out to the community that Compass Community Health, a family style, primary care practice, is committed to improving the health of area residents.
“Changing your health care provider or looking for a new health care provider is a big deal,” Johnson said. “You need to feel like you have stability. You need to feel like you have some place that will be there next month, and we will be here next month. And we’re taking care of everybody from little kids to old folks for all primary care needs. Stop in a see us and see what we have here.”
Compass providers, nurses and staff were on hand to help participants interpret their results and answer questions about general health, nutrition, prescriptions, and more, as well as tour the facility.
“A lot of our problems in health stem from the fact that we do things that aren’t good for us for a long period of time,” Johnson said. “So when you’re 30-40 years old, all of a sudden that chicken comes home to roost. If you’ve been smoking, you’ve had high blood pressure, your weight has been up, then, all of a sudden you have cardiovascular disease. You’ve got a higher incidence of diabetes. You’ve got things happening. What we want to do is help people change their behavior before the bad problems happen. So we’d like to help you quit smoking. We’d like to help you with your exercise program. We’d like to help you with nutrition. We’d like to help you understand how you take care of yourself. When we do that we’ll become much healthier as a community.”
Sonie Hash, program director for the health center, said there may be people in the community who do not know all the benefits of the center.
“It’s a common misperception, and I understand why,” Hash said. “Because the Counseling Center’s outpatient services used to be located in this building. So people think that maybe it’s service that is specific to them. That’s not the case. We’re a family practice. We’re open to the community. We see ages 1 through whatever, and that’s part of why we had everybody in this morning, to demonstrate that we’re open to the whole community.”
Hash said the center offers a sliding fee scale for people who don’t have insurance, and they see all insurance types including no insurance. Those people can apply for the sliding fee scale.
Compass Community Health Care is open Mondays from 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“We have those hours to help accommodate people who work,” Compass Public Information Officer Gina Collinsworth said. “That’s the one thing about Compass Community Health Care Center - we’re trying to eliminate barriers to getting care.”
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.