St. Joseph’s free program will help public ‘flag’ potential health issues

Members of the public can get a free check on their body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol at Penn State Health St. Joseph with the start of a monthly program designed to uncover early warning signs of possibly larger health issues.

The first event is Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of the hospital’s Bern Township campus.

The free, private screenings, called Health4Cast, will be conducted by clinical navigators who are medical professionals. The navigators also will help participants gain insight into their overall health through a review of both the tests results and a general health behavior assessment. The studies and counseling take about 30 minutes.

The studies, known as Biometrics, offer information that can be an early warning to more significant health problems.


“Health4Cast can signal potential problems even though outward symptoms might not exist,” says St. Joseph’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Newman. “Using the test results, we help people understand their risk for chronic, preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. We can also help them identify strategies for improved health and well-being.”

“You cannot control age, gender and family history, but there are many things you can control,” Dr. Newman adds. “Our aim is to help them to understand what they can do to help themselves.”

Pre-registration is not required. Plan for about 30 minutes. The four studies require participants be weighed on a special scale, have their blood pressure taken, and have a finger ‘needle stick’ performed to determine blood sugar and cholesterol.

Written results will be provided to be shared with a family physician for any follow up. Biometrics are not meant to replace physician advice.