According to statistics released by the National Kidney Foundation, (NKF) only 29 percent of minorities who need a bone marrow transplant find a match, a great cause for concern in the Caribbean and African-American Communities, noted Dr. Wisley G. Augustin, leader of the Bethany’s SDA Health Ministry.
As such, the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Westbury will join forces with the NKF to conduct free health screenings for people at increased risk for kidney disease. Medical professionals will also conduct a bone marrow drive to increase matches for minorities and other ailments, at the church’s 962 Prospect Ave., Wesbury facility, on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Annual Health Fair, which will include a church service at 11:00 a.m., will also screen persons who suffer from diabetes and hypertension, or who have a family history of kidney disease. Participants will be weighed, have their blood pressure checked and reviewed by physicians and nurse practitioners from the Bethany Health Ministry and North Shore – lIJ Health System.
The NKF’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) is designed to identify and educate people who are at risk for kidney disease. Bethany’s pastor, Jaime M. Kowlessar, says he looks forward to having neighbors and friends fellowship with them and take advantage of the free kidney evaluation.
According to spokeswoman, Beryl Williams, additional lab results will be sent to participants within four to six weeks after the screening. She added that participants could also choose to have their results sent directly to their doctor. Those with abnormal lab results are encouraged to follow-up with their primary care doctor or health clinic.
Most importantly, said Dr. Augustin, “we encourage everyone in our community to get a free kidney screening. This will help some of the 26 million Americans who have chronic kidney disease, and the many that don’t even know they are affected.” “Millions more are at risk,” he added.
To register for the (KEEP) screening and the bone marrow drive, or to learn more, contact the National Kidney Foundation at 212-889-2210 Ext. 236, or log on to kidney.org/KEEPhealthy. Walk-ins are welcome, but prior registration is encouraged. You must be 18 years and over to be screened.