Cheryl Willoughby, project coordinator for Systems & Procedures at Vidant, plays a key role in organizing these events. She said it is crucial to bring health care to the people of eastern North Carolina because of Vidant’s unique rural positioning.
“Access to health care is a huge issue for a lot of the people that we serve,” Willoughby said. “So when we do these community events, that barrier is easily broken when we meet people where they are. That’s the exciting piece for me.”
Pamlico County Health Event
Vidant hosted a Pamlico County Community Health event on Aug. 27 at Pamlico County Community College with great support from many local leaders and organizations. Pamlico County government, the Pamlico County Health Department and Pamlico County Community College all played a vital role in making the event possible.
Vidant Beaufort Hospital team members came out to the event to administer health screenings to community members, including body mass index measurements, blood pressure readings and blood sugar checks. Team members were also on hand to educate the community on colorectal cancer, diabetes and stroke.
Jennifer Lewis, community health improvement coordinator for Vidant Beaufort Hospital, said screenings and wellness checks events like these are crucial to making sure community members are staying on top of their health. She said that people will often go through everyday life feeling completely healthy while chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes go unchecked.
“We want to help identify some of those risk factors and maybe here we can share something with an individual that will get their attention,” Lewis said. “Hopefully we can get them in to see a physician and maybe make some changes in their diet, in their physical activity and if they need to get medication, that too.”
Dr. John Callahan from Vidant Family Medicine – Aurora was on hand to discuss any concerns with community members and to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with those interested. About 20 COVID-19 first doses were distributed to community members at the event.
The EastCare team also showed support for the Pamlico County event by showcasing a helicopter on the main road leading to the event and the Eastern Carolina Health Care Preparedness Coalition had a medical emergency bus and mobile field hospital out on display for the event as well.
Famville Community Health Event