Sponsored content: SMH community health workers are making a big difference

Goal is to help educate people about their health

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St. Mary's Hospital and Clinics

You’ve seen them all over the place, at banks, stores, clinics, fairs, and festivals, offering to take your blood pressure, prick your fingers, score your mood or explain your BMI to you. But do you know who these people really are?

These are our Community Health Workers and they provide an invaluable service to our region. Led by Leah Kaschmitter, St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics, along with other area organizations, make up the Partnership for Healthy Communities. These workers are responsible for helping people adopt healthy behaviors and to navigate and access community services and other resources, and their goal is to help educate people about their health…wherever they may be.

“We know it isn’t always easy to come in to the clinic or hospital for screenings and people don’t always make it a priority. For instance, diabetes in so prevalent in our area and many people don’t even know they are at risk,” said Leah Kaschmitter. “Our goal is to make it easier by stationing our workers out in the community and offering free and simple screenings to help identify where someone might need some help.” Along with the screenings, the Community Health Workers can offer “next steps” for someone who may need them, whether that’s nutritional counseling, recommending diabetes education classes, or identifying other needs. Additionally, they offer other types of screenings like a FIT test for colon cancer and a mood-score/depression test.

This weekend, Aug. 16 and 17, you’ll find them at the Idaho County Fair from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day at the Partnership for Healthy Communities outdoor booth. Be sure to stop by and say hi, pick up some cool giveaways, and get your free health screening.

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