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WPSD: Free kidney-screening event, wellness fair coming to Mt. Vernon, Illinois

MT. VERNON, IL — Community members aged 18 and up can soon take advantage of free kidney and health screenings in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

According to a release about the event, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is teaming up with SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital to provide the kidney and health screenings, free of charge, out of their mobile clinic.

The screening event is happening at Veterans Memorial Park from noon to 4 p.m. on March 24. A wellness fair is being held in the same location that day, from noon to 6 p.m.

According to the release, the kidney and health screenings are being offered by the Illinois NKF KidneyMobile — which they say is the nation's only custom mobile unit that travels across the state for this purpose.

SSM Health is encouraging anyone interested in getting screened for kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes to attend. They say in addition to the screening, a physician will be on-site to discuss results with attendees.

They say they'll have tables for various services at the wellness fair, including: primary care, behavioral health, nutrition, weight management, diabetes education, sleep, cancer care, surgical services, therapy, wound care, and more.

SSM Health says there will be surprise visits by two therapy dogs during the event, and a variety of prizes will be raffled off.

Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Jacqueline Burgess-Bishop explained the importance of getting screened for kidney disease in a statement included in the release.

“One in three American adults is at risk for kidney disease, while one in seven already has the disease," Burgess-Bishop said. “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.”

According to the release, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer, but many don't know the risks. Kidney disease progresses slowly and can go undetected until it's already very advanced, SSM Health explains. Some simple steps SSM Health says you can take to help reduce your risk are:

  • Quitting smoking

  • Controlling blood pressure and blood sugar

  • Keeping weight down

  • Exercising regularly

  • Avoiding excessive use of pain medicine.

There several upcoming free kidney-screening events in Southern Illinois. To find and register for an event near you, click here and scroll down. Registration is highly encouraged.

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