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Free community health clinic fills a need in the Omaha metro

Screenings and services offered at no cost
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 2:32 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Coronavirus pandemic has put health screenings on the back burner for many people.

On Monday morning, the Methodist Community Health Clinic took a big step in helping people get their health and wellness back on track by holding a free community health clinic at Kountze Commons.

Among the many services available, the Nebraska Methodist College “Mobile Diabetes Center” was parked at the site, offering people free screenings for diabetes and hypertension.

“We meet people where they are so we’re overcoming barriers with access to transportation to get people access to healthcare, and what we do is free so we can offer this to anyone regardless of their ability to pay,” said Kiley Petersmith with Nebraska Methodist College.

People could also get the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine if they hadn’t received one yet.

“We want to prevent COVID from spreading especially as the Delta variant is becoming more prominent in the Omaha area,” Petersmith said.

Inside Kountze Commons, doctors and nurses were performing head and neck cancer screenings. Those screenings, and many more, had to stop during the pandemic because of social distancing guidelines.

Dr. Robert Lindau, a head and neck surgical oncologist with Methodist Hospital, says it’s important to restart these screenings because they could save lives by detecting signs of cancer early on. Plus, by performing them at the clinic, they’re giving some of the patients the only access to care they might have.

Along with the screenings, Dr. Lindau took time to educate patients on head and neck cancer, address any concerns they had, and what kind of work, if any, would need to be done.

“The healthcare system is back in full operation and we’re here to take care of patients and if there are any concerns we’re here to help them and address those concerns,” he said.

Other services on site included depression screenings with a certified social worker, tips and education to stop smoking, start and maintain a healthy diet, and spot signs and symptoms of a stroke or heart attack.

The Kountze food pantry was also open and available for guests.

Health leaders in the community know the need for food and the need for health screenings oftentimes go hand-in-hand, so people utilizing the pantry were encouraged to take advantage of the other services on site.

“We know that people who are requesting food have more risk factors, their ability to afford healthy, nutritious foods is less, so we definitely want to do more screenings for people who need that,” said Kiley Petersmith.

The community clinic at Kountze Commons is open Monday through Friday, and their food pantry is available every Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Kountze pantry is open Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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