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WJBD: SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital to Host KidneyMobile and Wellness Fair Tuesday, October 25th

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is teaming up with SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital to provide a free kidney and health screening on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, for all community members. St. Mary’s Hospital will also be hosting a wellness fair the same afternoon. Both events will be held at St. Mary’s Hospital Gymnasium located at 500 North Pleasant Avenue in Centralia.

Anyone interested in getting screened for kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes is encouraged to attend from 12 noon to 4:00 pm. There is no cost to be screened; appointments are strongly recommended at but are not required. The SSM Health Wellness Fair will also start at noon but will extend until 6:00 pm.

The kidney and health screening will be offered by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ KidneyMobile®, the nation’s only custom mobile unit that travels across the state screening individuals for kidney disease and its two main causes: diabetes and high blood pressure.

In addition to a free screening, attendees will also be able to talk privately with a physician regarding their results.

The SSM Health Wellness Fair will have informational tables for various service lines including primary care, behavioral health, nutrition, weight management, diabetes education, sleep, cancer care, surgical services, therapy, wound care, and many more. There will also be surprise visits by two pet therapy dogs throughout the event. Several community partners will be present, including the Marion County Health Department, which will offer flu vaccinations for persons aged 19 and older. A variety of attendance prizes will be raffled off during the event.

In bringing these two events to Centralia, SSM Health is grateful for its partnership with state and local organizations including the Illinois Public Health Association, Illinois Migrant Council, and the NAACP.

Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer, but while the majority of Americans can recite the common tests for breast and prostate cancer, many do not know the risk factors and tests that could keep them off dialysis and the transplant waiting list. Because kidney disease often develops slowly with few symptoms, it can frequently go undetected until it is very advanced. Simple steps such as controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, keeping weight down, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and avoiding excessive use of pain medicine, can help reduce risk.

“One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease, while one in seven already has the disease,” said Jacqueline Burgess-Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. “That means hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois are affected. Our goal is to educate the community about the risks for kidney disease and detect it early so that they can manage the disease and slow its progression.”

Additional Facts and Information from the KidneyMobile:

  • The KidneyMobile is the nation’s only custom mobile unit that offers free prevention education and health screenings for kidney disease and its two leading causes: diabetes and high blood pressure

  • The KidneyMobile is the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ signature program for the prevention of kidney disease

  • To date, the KidneyMobile has screened more than 55,000 people throughout the state of Illinois

  • Alarmingly, over 73% of people screened have had at least one significantly abnormal test result

  • The goal of the KidneyMobile is to identify kidney disease and its causes early so that people can prevent kidney failure and avoid dialysis

  • There is never any charge to be screened

Health Facts and Statistics:

  • 37 million American adults – hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans – already have kidney disease.

  • Every day, 12 people die waiting for a kidney.

  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of people with CKD.

  • Every 30 minutes, your kidneys filter all the blood in your body, removing waste and excess fluid.

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease.

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