In recent years, physicians and patients have paid increasing attention to lifestyle changes and screening tests with the goal of disease prevention and wellness.
But St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center has focused on preventing health-care concerns for more than two decades at its bi-monthly Lab Fair. It is held from 7 to 8 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of every month at Community Bank, 2220 Broadway, except for major holidays.
St. Rose staffs the Lab Fair with two technicians and a volunteer who greets patients.
One of the many regular visitors is Ron Daniels of Great Bend who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1998.
“In the early stages, I wasn’t very attentive to it,” Daniels acknowledged. “But there came a time when I was getting a blood-sugar test every 90 days. The doctors were telling me to watch it.
“Then I learned about the St. Rose Lab Fair,” Daniels continued. “My wife, Priscilla, and I were looking for an affordable place to have our blood-sugar levels tested and this was the ideal location.”
Daniels, who was a Great Bend High School guidance counselor from 2001-08, has visited the fair every three months for the last 10 years. He also has an executive profile blood test there annually.
His long list of reasons for regular attendance includes affordability, easy access and prompt service.
“Most important, however,” he noted, “are the skilled professional technicians and friendly service. I give the St. Rose lab a Triple A rating. They get the job done in 20 minutes or less, and I often have my results in the mail the next day.”
Daniels also gives kudos to Community Bank. “This is a great display of teamwork in the community,” he commented.
Karen Stewart, St. Rose lab technician, noted that Daniels is just one of many regular visitors who rely on this service.
“We really enjoy seeing familiar faces but also welcome newcomers,” Stewart said. “We have 20 to 30 patients each time. Many of them like it because there isn’t a long line, and they can visit with one another in the bank’s welcoming lobby.
“It is good for people without insurance or those who need blood tests more often than Medicare allows,” Stewart continued. “And we know we have caught prostate cancer early for at least five patients.”
In addition, some patients want their cholesterol checked now and then to determine if their diet and exercise programs are working.
Lab Fair participants must be at least 18 years old and payment is either by check or cash; fees haven’t increased in 10 years. Fasting after 10 p.m. is recommended in most cases and no referrals are required.
Tests available include cholesterol; blood type; PSA screen; hemoglobin A1C; TSH; Profiles A, B and C with different combinations of testing; comprehensive chemistry profile; and liver panel. For more information, call 620-786-6612.
Doctors do not receive the results because they didn’t order the tests. Patients may give the results to doctors if they want to.
“We have good support from local providers who recommend our Lab Fair,” Stewart said. “All of us like to see people taking the initiative to prevent problems.
“We also are grateful to Centura Health,” the technician added. “They are very proactive in preventive health care. And the Lab Fair certainly comes under that umbrella.”
St. Rose is part of the Centura family, which connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, and home-care and hospice services.