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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 13, 2017 2 years ago

County service brings healthcare to the community

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The Health in Motion bus is in the community two days a week to provide preventative healthcare to people who may not have access.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

Hanging on the wall of the county’s Health in Motion bus is a quote encouraging staff members to remember their place in serving clients.

“We are not doing him a favor by serving him,” part of the quote reads. “He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.”

This idea is one that guides Audrey Kurasz in her work as the Senior Community Health Nurse for the Department of Health in Sarasota County. She and a few other staff members visit different, often low-income areas in the county to provide free health screenings and referrals for general health and wellness.

“The program started about 10 years ago,” said Michael Drennon, program manager for Disease Intervention Services for the DOH in Sarasota. “I think the goal was to be able to provide individuals in the community who don’t have easy access to medical care an option for diagnostic-type care.”

The Health in Motion bus stations at different areas of the county two days a week. The staff spends one day in the DOH office, and the other two days at different locations around the county, like Salvation Army, the jail or the food bank.

“We try to reach them on their level,” Kurasz said.

A large part of what Kurasz and the DOH staff do is provide education. People often approach her with specific questions about subjects like diabetes or bone density, and she works to help them understand the topic.

Most often, though, they’re checking blood pressures and BMIs, and providing STD screenings. They even give people resources to help them quit smoking.

Each month, about 130 people utilize the Health in Motion services, and give people like Kurasz the opportunity to help educate the community with what she called “a passion for prevention.”

For information on where the Health in Motion services will be provided next, visit the webpage here.

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