ISU Headlines

Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center, Ada County to provide free flu shots Feb. 16 in Boise

Posted February 9, 2012

Uninsured and unable to afford medical care?

Treasure Valley residents can attend a free Community Health Screening, Thursday, Feb. 16, 4-7 p.m., in the Western Town Building at the Expo Idaho Fairgrounds, 5610 N. Glenwood St., in Boise.

The Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center, Ada County, Central District Health, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare have partnered to bring free community health screenings to low-income Ada County adults.

ISU clinical faculty and students conduct the screenings, which include free flu shots, basic physical exams, dental evaluations, hearing and depression screenings, on-site testing for blood sugar levels and HIV, mammogram referrals and a variety of health education information.

The screenings, which sprang from an Ada County initiative to find ways to help save taxpayer dollars spent on indigent health care costs, began in March 2010. Since then, 312 people have been screened, according to organizers.

"Prevention is a crucial piece of health care, and our mission with these screening events is to identify individuals at risk of preventable diseases and get them connected with providers in the area.  All the while providing our students valuable clinical experience," said Dr. Glenda Carr, an ISU-Meridian assistant clinical pharmacy professor. 

 Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman notes that state-mandated payments for health care for low-income and uninsured adults can be an expensive burden on taxpayers — especially if the patient seeks treatment in a hospital emergency room.

"Through the screenings, we have identified individuals who were in need of immediate care, possibly saving their lives. Many others have had chronic medical conditions that were not an emergency, but if left untreated had the potential of becoming a more serious and costly health crisis," said Ullman.

The free screenings are intended for low-income adults with no insurance or limited access to preventive health care. The full screening process takes about an hour. No appointment is necessary. For more information, call 373-1700.

Media Contacts:  Jessica Donald, Communications Specialist, Ada County, 287-6998

Chris Gabettas, Public Information Specialist, ISU-Meridian, 373-1806