By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian
About four months after the Marion County Health Department added new services one Monday a month, the practice seems to be going smoothly and will continue.
“We thought we would do it for six months and get an idea how it was going,” said Donna Riffle, the health department’s director of nursing. “We weren’t sure, but it has been going very well.”
About seven to 10 patients come in during the extended hours, which is from 4-6:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month. The exams cost $20. The next day for the services will be next Monday.
The hope had been for 10 patients and the most that probably could be seen in that time frame is 12 to 15, Riffle said.
Certified nurse practitioner Diana Boyle comes in and sees the patients, who generally have minor complaints such as colds and respiratory infections.
Other reasons to be seen by Boyle could be sports or general physicals and blood pressure checks, Riffle said.
Also, the Pap exams and mammogram referrals that had been done every few months through the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (WVBCCP) have been rolled into the Monday service hours.
“That way it eliminates the woman having to wait for two months,” Riffle said. “If I have it in my head or if I have seen something that encourages me to have a Pap or a mammogram and I can’t get it for two months, I might not go. The sooner we get her in, the more likely she is to keep her appointment.”