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Summit Health offers screenings at fair

April 20, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Should it fall into the wrong hands, the dynamometer could replace traditional strength competitions.

For now, the device will be put to much more sensible use in the medical realm - it was one of the screenings offered Saturday at the fifth annual Summit Health Fair.

"The dynamometer basically shows how much hand strength you have," said Angelique High, an occupational therapist based in Shippensburg, Pa. "If there's a problem, we can do all kinds of different things to help."

The dynamometer tests hand strength based on the amount of pressure applied to its joystick-like grip. If a person tests below the norm, treatment often is recommended.

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"We might suggest some type of hand exercise to build strength," High said.

Other screenings at the fair tested blood, heart disease, lungs and carbon monoxide, antioxidants, blood pressure, bone density, voice, vision, hearing and feet.

Potential surgical candidates could have taken a walk-through of a procedure by going through the surgery tour at the Summit Health Center, which offers same-day procedures.

The journey begins in the Pre-Op area, where patients are asked questions about themselves and prepped for surgery. The next phase takes the patient to the operating room, where all the action occurs, according to certified surgical technician Jane Bisecker - a veteran of the OR.

"We just have a good, cutting-up time," Bisecker joked. "I've been doing this for 45 years and I love my job. I've never had any problems getting up for work."

That's good news for patients, who next would see the recovery area before being released.

Bisecker, of Waynesboro, Pa., said many surgical procedures take between 30 and 45 minutes, and often patients are in and out of the hospital in a matter of hours.

Anyone with the ambition to be on the other end of the scalpel likely would have stopped to speak with school liaison manager Cheri Kearney at the health fair.

Kearney said the medical field always is looking for new, interested people, and that some of the visits she had came from an older generation looking for second-career opportunities.

"Probably the majority are young people, and that's who we mainly focus on," Kearney said. "Then, there are some people looking to find something a little more meaningful in their lives, and we're open to them as well."

A Bioness Inc. representative at the fair showcased and explained advanced technology to help people recover from neurological disorders. The equipment helps people recovering from stroke, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries regain coordination in their limbs by wearing a device that communicates electrodes to the brain.

Christian Parker is an occupational therapist who works with the equipment at Chambersburg Hospital.

"Once a stroke patient is able to use their hands again, and you see their faces ... it's incredible," Parker said.

There were 34 stations spread over two buildings - the Summit Health Center and the neighboring Summit Keystone Pavilion - on Norland Avenue. New to this year's fair were translated maps and interpreters for Spanish-speaking visitors.

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