Mobile screening is like a house call for seniors


Olive Branch and Board of Visitors
Helping to make the house-call
health screening project a reality are,
pictured left to right, Julie Ash and
Dawn Gielau with Banner Olive
Branch Senior Center and Jane Ryta,
an Olive Branch volunteer, along
with Board of Visitors member
Chris Epstein.

As part of an innovative house-call plan offered through the Banner Olive Branch Senior Center, seniors in Sun City and nearby communities received a variety of health screenings and tests by medical professionals.

Participants also received an Olive Branch Benefit Checkup Screening that reviews available social services and discounts from a range of 85 different county, state, and federal options, and has saved participants a collective average of $1 million per year in previously untapped benefits.

Funded by a grant from the Board of Visitors, the mobile screenings were conducted in partnership with Banner Occupational Health and provided blood pressure and glucose level checks and a body-mass index determination for people 65 years and older.

“It’s so important for seniors to keep tabs on their health and sometimes, it is difficult for them to get to their providers,” said Dawn Gielau, director of Banner Olive Branch Senior Center. “We are so happy to be able to bring health care to them.“

The Olive Branch staff received positive feedback from a number of participants who described benefits that had not been anticipated during the program's development, including:

Olive Branch and Board of Visitors

  • Seniors new to the Sun City area, who had not yet connected with a primary care provider appreciated access to a program that could refer them to a new doctor in the Banner Health Network.
  • Surprised and alarmed by their high blood sugar results, some participants began immediate changes to impact that condition in advance of a doctor visit.
  • Comments about the benefits review were very positive with seniors expressing their gratitude for learning about programs and discounts for which they had no idea they were eligible.

The goal was to reach 625 seniors with these services, including new clients and regular members of Olive Branch. The screenings were offered a few times a week at Olive Branch and other community partner locations like Salvation Army, Aurora Village, Riverbend Senior Housing, and El Mirage Senior Center and a total of 1,001 individuals were served through the program.