DANSVILLE — For over four decades our local hospital has worked to care for the community by offering free blood pressure clinics.


UR Medicine/Noyes Health is asking for more volunteers with nursing or EMT background to help with taking blood pressure once a month.


You will find a team of staff and volunteers at different events every year including summer fairs and festivals and the first Tuesday of each month at Tops in Dansville and Wegmans in Geneseo, all in support of the Hospital Mission to “support and promote the health of our communities through compassionate, quality care”.


The Clinic program is currently looking for several volunteers to help with the monthly blood pressure clinic at Tops in Dansville and possibly a fair during the summer months. Volunteers need to have a medical background; i.e. RN, LPN, aide, EMT etc. These monthly Tuesday clinics are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


On July 3 Genesee Country Express sat with Nancy Johnsen, UR Medicine/Noyes Health Community Health Education coordinator and Volunteer Cassie Dennison.


Dennison has volunteered for about five years doing the blood pressure at Dansville Tops and Geneseo Wegmans.


“At first I thought I would bring flowers to the patients, but I am a nurse. I started helping taking the blood pressure from people in Tops and Wegmans,” she said. “The ladies that started this program were still doing this into their late 80s.”


Johnsen said the program is excellent to do at the supermarkets since that is were they get seven percent of their blood pressure results.


“This shows that the hospital cares and gives back to the community,” she said. “You catch people who might have high blood pressure, and you tell them to get help at the doctors office. We have a lot of people that come back.”


It is always the first Tuesday of the month since that is Senior Citizen Day, and most of the people who check their blood pressure are seniors.


Right now there are only three volunteers for both stores, so the hospital is in strong need of people willing to give up a couple hours a month to help out.


“We are looking for more volunteers to work more regularly at the stores once a month,” Johnsen said. “They need to be able to take blood pressure. Usually a nurse or a retired EMT are could do it.”


Blood pressure clinics started at Noyes in 1977 to improve access to healthcare by taking information and resources out to the community and has not slowed down. Starting with 16 clinics the first year, the program has increased its’ outreach over the years to an average of 48 different opportunities for residents to have their blood pressure checked and health information and resources. As a result of the clinics, an average of seven percent of those who come are encouraged to follow-up with their health care provider.


“This is social time for me. I know a lot of people that come here to get their blood pressure taken,” Dennison said. “I meet a lot of new people too. I spend time with these people. It is amazing what people will share with you. You are a person that listens to them, and spends a little more time with them. Some of these people live alone, and the conversations mean a lot to them.”


Dennison said this all comes back to the Dansville community, and that is what it is all about.


If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact UR Medicine/Noyes Health Volunteer Coordinator Christa Barrows at 585-335-4358 or cbarrows@noyeshealth.org.