Challenge uncovers hidden elevated glucose

Kylie Carrett with Karen Brown holding a big cheque
Kylie Carrett with Karen Brown.

The award-winning TerryWhite Chemmart Samford has launched a health initiative designed to engage local community and sporting groups to learn more about their general health and wellbeing

The Samford Community Health Challenge was created by pharmacy owner Karen Brown, who said finding new ways to keep the community engaged in their health and wellbeing is a key priority for the pharmacy.

The pharmacy, then the Samford Chemmart, won the Community Engagement category in the 2015 Guild Pharmacy of the Year Awards, due to initiatives such as its Wellbeing Forever Festival.

“We wanted to find new ways to engage our community with their health and the pharmacy, whilst also being able to give back. The Community Health Challenge was the best of both worlds,” said Karen Brown.

10 local community groups from Samford and the surrounding areas were invited to participate in the challenge, which consisted of members visiting the pharmacy for a paid health check, including blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and risk factor assessments.

“The community really rallied behind the health challenge,” Ms Brown said. “In the month of June our pharmacists completed over 60 health checks and made several referrals to our local GPs for follow up.”

Each community group’s results were then tallied and an eventual Samford’s Healthiest Community Group was crowned with the title and a $1,000 donation going to local swimming club the Samford Stingrays.

Accepting the donation was Kylie Carrett, president from the Samford Stingrays who said the Samford Community Health Challenge was a great way to check in on some simple health measures and reminded us all that taking time out to take care of our health was important.

“We are so grateful to the support of local businesses who sponsor not only our club but the many clubs in local communities. This health challenge was a great way for the adults in the club to check in on their health and at the same time, help us raise much needed funds,” she said.

“I had a message from one of our supporters, Scott, who had elevated blood glucose levels this afternoon and is going back for a repeat test. He has a family history of diabetes and was incredibly happy for the push to get the check done.

“That to me means more than any amount of money or the competition. He then recommended that other friends go and do it. The flow on effect should continue.

“The Community Health Challenge was a wonderful initiative. Also, the money will not simply disappear into the club. I’ve proposed that we use it for the kids and something that promotes healthy activity. We will continue to promote the source of the funds as coming from the pharmacy,” Ms Carrett said.

All in all, the Samford Community Health Challenge completed 63 pharmacist led health checks.

Ms Brown said focusing on the local community is what drives her and her team to innovate and find new ways to engage.

“When you focus on the health of your community, you can achieve great things. Community engagement is at the heart of what we do at TerryWhite Chemmart Samford,” she said.

“I can guarantee none of these 63 people would have come in for a health check but they did because they were doing it for someone else. The majority of the participants were 30-45 year olds supporting their kids.”

Ms Brown and her team plan to make the Samford Community Health Challenge an annual event.

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