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Local organizations band together on free diabetes,
blood pressure screening campaign for community members

HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 2, 2015) – Twelve local organizations, brought together by Capital BlueCross, are kicking off a grassroots preventive health campaign to raise awareness about the health risks associated with diabetes and high blood pressure at 10 a.m. on June 4 at the Hamilton Health Center in Harrisburg. The event will feature free blood pressure and diabetes screenings for attendees.

In addition to Capital BlueCross, the local organizations involved in the campaign include: AKA Foundation of Central PA, Inc.; Bright Side Opportunities Center; Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, Hamilton Health Center; King Community Center; Latino Hispanic American Community Center of the Greater Harrisburg Region; National Black MBA Association-Greater Harrisburg; PinnacleHealth System; SouthEast Lancaster Health Services; Spanish American Civic Association; and ZOOMBALICIOUS.

“Diabetes and high blood pressure often go undetected and untreated, which is why our public service campaign is focusing on these two diseases,” said Dave Skerpon, vice president of Strategic Growth and Community Relations for Capital BlueCross. “With a simple screening, diabetes and high blood pressure can be detected and treated, so that they don’t evolve into even more serious health problems. We are proud to partner with these eleven organizations to provide health education and testing so people can better understand their health risks and to help shape a healthier community.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in 2013 the estimated prevalence of diabetes in Pennsylvania was 10 percent among adult males and 9 percent among adult females. Additionally, 34 percent of Pennsylvania adults indicated in 2013 they were told by a health professional that they have high blood pressure.

“Community-based organizations have an important role in addressing health risks,” said Carlos Graupera, president of the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA). “All community residents greatly benefit from health education and prevention efforts that are brought into neighborhoods to make sure that everyone is able to access health care and obtain the services they need to live healthy. SACA has long believed that communities need to look after themselves in the health care area, just as much as other areas vital to their development.”

Jeannine Peterson, CEO of Hamilton Health Center, said, “Regular screenings are critical to maintaining good health, avoiding illness and living a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for individuals who have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”

The community-wide campaign consists of a series of free blood pressure and diabetes screenings and educational programs. The next event is a community health and wellness fair sponsored by the Spanish American Civic Association from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 10 at 545 Pershing Avenue in Lancaster, Pa.

For a complete list of upcoming campaign events and programs, click here:

List of events.