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September 2009


Hundreds Take Advantage of Free Health Screenings at Ag Progress Day
AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians, in cooperation with Agromedicine, recently provided free health screenings to hundreds of adults and children at the 2009 Penn State Ag Progress Days (APD) held at Rock Springs on August 18-20. Attendees were offered a number of screenings, educational offerings, and examples of assistive technology. The following were the week’s highlights:

•The Northeast/NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), with the assistance of Centre Volunteers in Medicine, provided private dermatological screenings to 129 attendees. In addition, NYCAMH shared information about skin cancer and sun safety.
•Penny Miles, D.C., Miles Chiropractic, discussed spinal health with nearly 100 attendees during her one-day visit.
•Representatives from the Joint Replacement Center at Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg, spent a day answering questions for more than 80 people who are coping with joint health issues.
•Over 350 Blood Pressure Readings were conducted by Centre Home Care.
•The PA Department of Health provided free Tetanus Shots to 50 individuals; using up the maximum amount of vaccine made available for our event.
•Vision Evaluations, including screening for glaucoma, were conducted by the North Central Sight Services. Ninety-nine attendees took advantage of this important opportunity, including a significant number of children.
•Ergonomic displays focused on simple ways to reduce strain and stress on the body while completing tasks in the shop, garden, or farm. In addition, a ‘quick-hitch’ and video surveillance unit were displayed as examples of assistive technology on the farm.
•Pesticide credits were earned by a dozen producers during sessions offered by the Office of Rural Health’s Farm Worker Protection Safety Specialist.

“We are very pleased by the response to our screening,” notes Arleen Clark, RN, Certified Occupational Health Nurse-Specialist with NYCAMH. “I spoke with so many people who have skin conditions that they’ve worried about for some time, but never took the time to have them checked. However, thanks to Dr. James Dunne and Dr. Gay Dunne, who volunteered their time and expertise through the Centre Volunteers in Medicine, we were able to screen these individuals. All individuals were educated about skin cancer, as well as, how to be safe while working or playing in the sun. NYCAMH’s investment of time and resources will have been repaid if we got just one person to receive the medical intervention they need to save their life.”

AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians assists farmers and farm family members who are coping with a long-term injury or health condition. The project is funded through a grant of the US Department of Agriculture and is conducted in PA through a partnership between Easter Seals Central Pennsylvania, Penn State Cooperative Extension, and the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation. For more information regarding AgrAbility services, call toll free within PA to 1-800-416-6061 or visit the following website:

Submitted by: Crystal Smithmyer