Anyone who needs a physical exam for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) now has two certified health-care providers to turn to at St. Rose Health Center.
Maggie Myers, advanced practice registered nurse, and Ed Habash, physician assistant, have successfully completed the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements necessary to administer these physicals.
“Anyone who needs a CDL is required to have a complete physical exam that meets certain DOT guidelines,” Myers said, noting this refers only to interstate travel. “If any health concerns are apparent, we will work within these guidelines to determine what they need to do to drive safely.
“For example,” she noted, “if a heart issue is discovered, I will refer the patient to a cardiologist. When the issue is satisfactorily resolved, the patient returns to me with the specialist’s report. I can then approve the CDL.”
Categories included in the exam are vision, hearing, blood pressure, heart, lungs, spine, lab work, neurology and psychology. A drug test is administered only if a problem is suspected.
“While the exam is necessary for a driver’s livelihood, there are real health benefits to having a check-up,” Myers commented. “We want people to use St. Rose as a resource to resolve health problems.
“The earlier you catch a problem such as diabetes the better,” she elaborated. “And it’s not only better for your overall health; it is better for your pocketbook. If you wait until a problem worsens, health-care costs can skyrocket.”
Mark Mingenback, corporate health consultant, noted that St. Rose is committed to prevention and wellness.
“This CDL exam is just one of the services we offer through our WellnessWorks program,” Mingenback said. “One local employer recently learned about the exams and scheduled 12 of his employees at St. Rose.
“Anyone who needs a license for the first time or knows a license will expire in a few months is encouraged to call us,” he continued. “It doesn’t have to be a last-minute thing.”
Employers also are encouraged to consider this local resource.
“These professional drivers are the lifeblood of many businesses,” Mingenback explained. “Employers depend on qualified drivers who are managing their health and not risking public safety on the highways.
“Employers who don’t take this seriously are at a huge risk of civil penalties and insurance problems,” he continued. “The DOT is even more strict about enforcement in light of some major 18-wheeler accidents across the country.”
Mingenback mentioned another fringe benefit to the exam. “Most CDLs are issued to men, and I hate to say it, but men haven’t always been the best at preventive medicine. This required exam could alleviate that problem,” he said.
Barton County is now ranked 86thout of the 105 Kansas counties when it comes to general health, Mingenback added.
“St. Rose wants to improve that number,” he said. “We take care of outpatient issues when you are sick or injured – and we do it well,” he said. “But St. Rose also is concerned with your general well-being. We want to do anything we can to become a healthier community. This is a big part of our mission.”
To make an appointment for a CDL exam, call 620-792-3345.
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine & Urgent Care, Great Bend Internists, imaging, infusion clinic, WellnessWorks, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.