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Yellow medical cards could make a difference for seniors

December 13, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - About 250 Washington County seniors are being given yellow cards, but unlike in some sports, these cards are a good thing to receive.

Food Resources Inc. Executive Director Ruth Anne Callaham said the nonprofit group is giving a "medical information refrigerator card" to a group of people, who are disabled or older than 62, to whom they provide food. Some already have received the card while others will get it later this month, she said.

Community Rescue Service has distributed similar cards for more than 10 years, but this is the first time the cards are being delivered directly to the homes of people whose lives could depend on it, Callaham said.

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"The idea is to get the cards to the people who need them," Callaham said.

Washington County Hospital printed 15,000 cards which are intended to be filled out and placed on the refrigerator as well as 15,000 smaller cards which people can put in their wallets. While most cards were given to CRS, some were given to Food Resources, Callaham said.

The collaboration was the result of conversations between CRS and Food Resources and Washington County Hospital members, Callaham said.

Food Resources is putting the cards in bags of food they deliver to seniors and the disabled.

The cards also are available at the lobbies of Potomac Towers and Walnut Towers in Hagerstown, a hospital news release said.

CRS will continue to distribute the cards at various activities and events it sponsors, as well as having some at headquarters, CRS Lt. Brent Bankson said.

On the cards, people are asked to list the medications they take and the ones they are allergic to, in addition to other information, Bankson sad.

When responding to a call at a home, CRS members check the person's refrigerator to see if they have the information on the card, he said.

On at least one occasion, CRS has stopped short of giving someone medication they were allergic to because the card warned against it, Bankson said.

As long as the card saves someone's life, the work of distributing the cards is worth it, Bankson said.

People also can get a copy of the card by going to the CRS Internet site: www.CRS75.org.

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