Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns & Mercy Hospital Offer Free Stroke Prevention Screenings

Oct 2, 2019News & PR

Screenings kick-off with the unveil of new Southgate Plaza Auto Bureau “Community Room” on October 2nd

Up to 50% of strokes occur without warning. Stroke is the #2 cause of death in the world. The rate of stroke death in Erie County is higher than the national and NYS average.

To help combat these alarming statistics, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, Phil Haberstro from the Wellness Institute of Buffalo and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo have teamed up again to offer free stroke prevention screenings at select auto bureaus across Erie County leading up to World Stroke Day on October 29.

Working with the Clerk’s Wellness Collaborative

The Auto Bureau Stroke Prevention Screening Program is part of the “Clerk’s Wellness Collaborative.” The Clerk’s Wellness Collaborative is a partnership between Erie County Clerk’s Office and the Wellness Institute of Buffalo who collaborate with local heath partners to improve our poor county health rankings. According to the 2019 Robert Woods Johnson County Health Rankings Report, Erie County ranks 56 out of 62 counties in New York State. As part of this effort, Catholic Health clinicians will be offering free blood pressure and carotid artery screenings at the auto bureaus.

This unique wellness initiative at the auto bureaus began in February of 2018 when Clerk Kearns and Mercy Hospital partnered to offer free blood pressure screenings at various auto bureau locations throughout the month. Over 200 residents of our community were screened and 38% were found to have high blood pressure and were consulted to seek treatment.

Mercy Hospital came back again in October of 2018 to conduct Carotid Artery Screenings. Another 200 residents were screened. Twelve participants were found to be at risk of stroke, due to calcifications within the arteries. Hospital accredited labs will perform carotid ultrasound screenings for anywhere between $200 and $300, but usually with a doctor’s orders. However, this service was offered at no cost to visitors at the Erie County Auto Bureaus, through the partnership between Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and the Erie County Clerk’s Office.

Auto Bureau Stroke Prevention Screening

A Carotid Artery Screening is a painless, non-invasive test that uses ultrasound technology to detect blockages in the two large blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain. Blockages in these arteries account for up to 75% of strokes and can be treated.

This October, Mercy Hospital will provide both Blood Pressure and Carotid Artery Screenings and pass out free hand sanitizers as flu season approaches. The screenings are free, confidential and open to the public and employees of the Clerk’s office.

The kickoff to the screenings was held at the new “Community Room” at the Southtowns Auto Bureau that Clerk Kearns just opened October 1st at the Southgate Plaza. This room will be used for the Catholic Health collaboration and other community programs like Clerk Kearns’ “Clerk on the Go” Outreach Service.

Kearns stated, “It is our intention to continually grow, expand and improve Clerk services for the residents of Erie County. At this new facility, we will be able to offer more support and resources to visitors to the auto bureau than ever before. We hope this will create a positive experience for West Seneca residents and Auto Bureau visitors.”

“The concept of being able to receive a mini health checkup while stopping by your local auto bureau is non-traditional and unique, that’s why I think it will be useful,” said Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns. “The ways in which members of our community receive healthcare information are changing. We must be pervasive and expose people to health information where they would not typically be exposed to it. As a point in the community where a high number of people regularly visit, the auto bureaus are key places to start this wellness initiative. I want to thank Catholic Health Mercy Hospital of Buffalo for their proactive efforts to bring these free health screenings to the community.”

“Our goal as one of the largest hospitals serving the Buffalo region and a partner in this Clerk Kearns’ Wellness Collaborative is to help make our community healthier by reducing the prevalence of heart disease and stroke,” said Mercy Hospital President Eddie Bratko. “Mercy Hospital, as with other hospitals across the country, are going beyond our traditional role of caring for the sick and beginning to focus more on keeping people healthy through collaborative efforts with other community organizations.”

Upcoming screenings will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at the following DMV locations:

October 2:           Southgate Plaza, 1088 B Union Road, West Seneca

October 8:           Eastern Hills Mall, Williamsville/Clarence Auto Bureau, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY

October 11:        Rath Building, 170 Pearl Street, Buffalo 14202

October 16:        Cheektowaga/ Depew Auto Bureau, 2122 George Urban Blvd., Depew, NY

October 22:        Sheridan Plaza, 2309 Eggert Road, Tonawanda

October 23:       Cheektowaga/ Depew Auto Bureau, 2122 George Urban Blvd., Depew, NY

October 29:       Sheridan Plaza, 2309 Eggert Road, Tonawanda

October 30:       Southgate Plaza, 1088 B Union Road, West Seneca