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Rotary Club’s 2013 multiphasic blood screening events just around the corner

March 22, 2013

In this Spirit file photo, Rotarian Tom Chelgren (right) demonstrates how the multiphasic blood screening works at the hands of Punxsutawney Area Hospital phlebotomist Kim Laska. Registration for this year’s screenings — to be held April 27 and May 4 — is now open.

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The always-popular annual blood screening events held by the Punxsutawney Rotary Club, along with Punxsutawney Area Hospital and its staff as medical provider, are coming to town soon.

The events will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 6 to 10 a.m., and again on Saturday, May 4, from 6 to 9:30 a.m.

The Punxsutawney Area Middle School cafeteria will be the site for both events.

Individuals interested in doing so can register for these valuable health screenings now by visiting the club’s website — www.punxsyrotary.com.

On the site, patrons can register themselves, pay online by credit card and pick their own appointment time, which will also allow faster check-in at the events and help avoid standing in payment lines.

Paper registration forms were mailed to past participants this week.

Those forms can be filled out and returned with a check for registration and pre-payment by following the instructions that accompany the form.

Those using the paper forms will need to check in at the events to receive and sign their confirmation form.

To take advantage of this low-cost program, individuals must be registered no later than April 21 for the first week or April 28 for the second week.

Everyone must be pre-registered, as no walk-ins can be accepted at the site.

Registration takes only a few minutes. The online registration is recommended, as it can be done from any computer, at any time and is a totally secure web transaction.

Mail-in application forms can also be picked up at the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce or by calling the Chamber at 814-938-7700 ext. 2.

Individuals with registration questions or issues can also call the Chamber, and it will have a Rotary member get back with them.

Remember that appointments are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

All blood screening participants will have blood drawn and tested for 39 different health conditions.

The full results are then sent to the participant’s regular physician, and notice is sent to the participant in the mail.

Persons interested are also recommended to compare the actual tests being done with any other “multiphasic” screenings they may see offered. All screenings are not the same.

For example, the TSH thyroid test is included in this screening but is often an optional add-on in other screenings. The total cost for the basic panel of 39 tests at these events is $52.

The PSA (prostate specific antigen) test for men over 40 is an optional test that can be done at this screening for an additional $20 cost.

Participants are reminded that a fast of 12 to 14 hours is required prior to the screening and that no alcohol can be used for 24 hours prior to the test.

Participants can take their regular medications on the morning of the test but only with water, and all participants need to be able to list all medications they are on when they arrive at the event that morning.

In most cases, Medicare will not cover costs of these screenings. This screening is not recommended for anyone under age 18.

Free coffee, donuts, orange juice and other items will be available to all participants.

As has been the case in the past, Punxsy REACT members will be on hand to direct traffic in and out of the parking area.

All proceeds from the events are used to fund Rotary contributions to many local charities, scholarships, community projects and other non-profit organizations.

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