Free health clinic helps area residents

FLORENCE TWP. Skip Halliwell saw it coming. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, he'd already slugged
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Skip Halliwell saw it coming.

By 10 a.m. Tuesday, he'd already slugged a pot of coffee and finished a two-hour meeting with his fellow trustees in FlorenceTownship.

It wasn't the feistiest meeting he'd ever endured, but Halliwell said it was long enough and dense enough to get his blood pressure up a bit.

As luck would have it, nurse Jane Ehrnsberger was at the township hall Tuesday morning testing blood pressure, cholesterol levels and other health indicators aspart of Erie County Health Department's roving clinics that started up this week.

"I expected I'd be wound up a bit," Halliwell said, finishing up his blood-pressure test. "It was a little bit high, probably 130 over 80."

Like every other public health clinic offered three days a week at Erie County's townships, the health screening at Florence Township Hall was free.

"I hope people find out it's being offered here and they start using it," Halliwell said. "But it might be a little slow until word gets out."

Indeed, about a half a mile Indeed, about a half a mile down the road at the Woolly Bear Restaurant on Ohio 113, a few diners were munching on two-dollar hamburgers as their waitress stopped to think if she'd heard about the health clinic at the town hall.

"I didn't know anything about it," the waitress said, declining to provide her name. "There's a lot of elderly people out here who don't have much money or health insurance, so I know they'll use it if they know about it."

The clinics are offered in every township on a rotating basis.

"Getting the word out is thebiggest thing right now," Ehrnsberger said. "The attendance will get better as word gets out."

Tuesday, just two people showed up for the free health clinic, and both of them were township employees.

At the first clinic offered in Vermilion Township on Tuesday, nobody showed up.

The clinics offer individual health screenings and tests for cholesterol, blood-sugar levels, lead testing, blood pressure, as well as immunizations and vaccinations.

If a parent needs shots before their child can attend school, for instance, the clinics can provide those services and give the parent the documentation they'll need to enroll the student.

There's also a litany of public-health information andeducational material available at each of the clinics.

"It's inexpensive when you think of what you pay to go somewhere else to have these things done," Ehrnsberger said.

Free Health Clinic Schedule

April clinics

April 16: Perkins Township Hall

April 21: Oxford Township Hall

April 22: Milan Village Hall

April 23: Margaretta Township Hall

April 24: Bay View Village Hall

April 28: Berlin Township Hall

April 29: Groton Township Hall

April 30: Huron Township Hall

May clinics

May 5: Vermilion Township Hall

May 6: Florence Township Hall

May 7: Perkins Township Hall

May 12: Oxford Township Hall

May 13: Milan Village Hall

May 14: Margaretta Township Hall

May 15: Bay View Village Hall

May 19: Berlin Township Hall

May 20: Groton Township Hall

May 26: Vermilion Township Hall

May 27: Florence Township Hall

May 28: Perkins Township Hall

All times are 8 to 10 a.m. except for Florence Township(9 to 11 a.m. May 6, 27)