One of the biggest excuses for not going to the doctor is not wanting to know what's wrong; the whole out of sight, out of mind trick. Another excuse is cost, but Avera Queen of Peace is looking to take both excuses out of the picture.
Curing disease is the goal of every hospital, but the mission of Avera Health is to make an impact in people and in the community. Avera Queen of Peace is living this mission through it's free cancer screenings.
"We pledged to our donors that participated that we would do five screenings; prostate, breast, skin, lung and colon." Said Tracy Pardy, director of the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation.
These cancer screenings are made possible through local donors who pledged more than $100,000 to the foundation. That means the foundation has already been able to provide free prostate and skin health screenings, as well us fund up to $500 for patients' colonoscopy screenings. So people like Deb Olson can focus on their health, not the cost of treatment.
"I had heard about the screenings that they had offered in the past and I always meant to get one but never got around to it." Said Olson.
Like most humans, Deb loves being in the sun. However years without sunscreen meant a skin screening was in her future.
"I've been brushing it off for quite a few years, it was just extremely handy and extremely easy to do." said Olson
Deb says she's lucky she got screened. There was enough on her scan to prompt a follow up and she's not the only one.
"So far over 300 people have attended those screenings and we've found about 65 of them have been referred on for a second check up." Said Pardy.
For many people, finances keep them from taking charge of their health. By helping cover out-of-pocket expenses, cancer is being found and treated earlier.
"Instead of being that individual who says it's not going to happen to me. When you hear about this story say I should probably go get my prostate checked, I should maybe go get a colonoscopy. Do it, now is the time to do it! Participate in all the screenings we do have because you want to get ahead of it before it's too late." Said Pardy.
Using donations from the community to help heal the community, is the basis of the hospital's mission. It's the entire staff buying in and working longer hours to bring these services to the people.
"Often we will have the screens at night so some of them work 16 to 20 hour days. So I really give credit to them too because this wouldn't work without all of our team members together." Said Pardy.
"They all work very hard and are very welcoming, Mitchell is not the biggest community but they support the community in so many ways not just through screenings but they sponsor so many things! I'm just an Avera fan!" Said Olson.
Avera Queen of Peace has already done prostate, skin, and colon screenings. Lung and breast screenings are still being planned for later this year. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.