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Universal Screening Day Brings Together Community and HHC Staff

June 09, 2023

Imagine having a potentially dangerous health condition and not knowing it? For 84 people who attended the first-ever Universal Screening Day, organized by Hartford HealthCare’s community health team in eastern Connecticut, one free test potentially saved their lives.

Held June 1 at the Thrive 55+ Active Living Center (formerly Groton Senior Center) in Groton, the event brought together 13 medical specialties to provide comprehensive head-to-toe health screenings for 90 attendees. Results of free screenings given revealed that 84 of them were considered at risk and needed follow up care based on the results of various screenings.

Screenings and information were provided by 37 Hartford HealthCare staff from:

  • Heart & Vascular Institute
  • Behavioral Health Network
  • Spine care
  • Pharmacy
  • Neurology
  • Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute
  • Rehabilitation Network
  • Cancer Institute
  • Community health
  • Nutrition
  • Stroke
  • Quality and safety
  • Radiology

“It was a huge success,” says Kathy Williams, program supervisor for Thrive 55+. Having Hartford HealthCare as a resource for events such as this, she adds, “is phenomenal. We collaborate on as many things as we can to bring services to the community. And, they do talks here on specific subjects, providing knowledge-based information to our clientele.”

Community health nurse Michele Brezniak says the idea for such a large-scale event came up in January as a way to broaden HHC’s community outreach and fulfill the regional Community Health Improvement Plan. HHC already sends a community health nurse and dietitian to events across the region for blood pressure, A1C and nutritional screenings, but there was enthusiasm around the idea of providing more comprehensive screenings.

“It just snowballed into this giant event where we had 13 departments represented,” she says. “This was by far the biggest event we’ve ever done.”

Screenings included vascular health, anxiety and depression, neuropathy, cognitive memory, pain management, blood flow and more. There were neurologists, cardiologists, APRNs and nurses on hand to answer questions and provide information.

“There were a total of 84 positive results out of the 171 screenings performed,” Brezniak says.

Eight of those were for neuropathy, seven for cognitive memory, 54 for high blood pressure and diabetes, and five for peripheral artery disease. Most of the people testing positive in a screening were unaware they had a health issue.

Staff talked with them about how they should follow up on the medical news , Brezniak says.

“Most of them had never been screened, or if they had, they didn’t have a positive result. We made sure to give them the information they needed to follow up, to call their doctor, or if they didn’t have a doctor, how to get one,” she says.