More about Monument Health

Ask the Expert: Benefits of Health Screenings

Published March 2024 | In Spring 2024

The geographic expanses of the Black Hills and western South Dakota can create barriers for rural residents to receive medical care. One way to reduce those barriers is to empower community members to be their own health advocates through the resources, education and access to care close to home.

Ask the Expert: Benefits of Health Screenings Media

At large community events such as the Black Hills Stock Show, the Black Hills Pow Wow, YFS Kids Fair, the Central States Fair and the Lakota Nation Invitational, as well as smaller community health fairs, Monument Health helps people check their blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen levels. Participants can also assess their risk for diabetes and anxiety.

These health screenings allow patients to make informed medical decisions and take action to improve their health. The screenings have uncovered early warning signs of potential health issues leading to timely medical intervention, thus preventing the progression of illnesses.

Kris Legner, PA-C, is a member of the medical staff at Monument Health Sturgis Clinic, seeing patients who live and play in the Black Hills. She shared some insight into what makes health screenings valuable to community members.

Join us quarterly at the Sturgis Community Center

Events include an annual wellness fair with community vendors and booths to promote and educate health and wellness.

Also, Community Health Talks will provide an opportunity to connect local residents with the public and private health-related organizations and medical professionals available in the Sturgis area. The goal is to educate and inspire patients to invest in their own health, ultimately promoting better personal outcomes and improving the well-being of the Sturgis community. Please join on the upcoming dates of April 11, Aug. 22 and Nov. 21.


Is it important for people to know their baseline blood pressure?


Yes, as this vital sign can help provide a picture of the patient’s overall risk of cardiovascular disease. If hypertension is diagnosed and treated early, it reduces the risk of a stroke and heart disease.


When is it important to discuss my results with my primary care provider?


There is a lot of medical information available to patients these days on multiple media options, and unfortunately some of it can be false or misleading. By meeting with a medical provider, the patient is given the most up to date medical facts and allows time for education to occur, helping the patient gain enough information to make important decisions about their short- and long-term medical treatment and management plans.


What does our blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygen levels tell about our overall health?


These vital signs give a glimpse into a person’s overall health and risk for complications. For example, high blood pressure leads to extra work by the heart. This extra work can lead to damage to organs like the brain, eyes and kidneys, as well as to the blood vessels.


Do free health screenings replace annual physicals with a primary care provider?


No, free health screenings assist in finding health issues sooner, potentially making them easier to treat. The physical exam provides a complete head to toe assessment but also focuses on the patient’s risks.
A primary care provider also talks to the patient about sleep, diet and exercise
habits, offers age-appropriate vaccinations and any other screenings they may need.
It also helps develop a trusting relationship between a provider and patient for future medical concerns.

Related Articles