Union Medical Center partners with library to share health information
Today’s haul at the Union County Carnegie Library: Three books, two DVDs and a backpack full of exercise equipment.
That last item was made possible recently thanks to a partnership between Union Medical Center and the Union County Library System.
The two organizations have joined forces to provide multiple special bags filled with healthcare information, medical equipment and exercise materials to patrons of the Union County Carnegie Library.
“We have purchased different health screening tools,” Union Medical Center President Paul Newhouse said. “We have put together a backpack you will be able to check out of the library.”
Health education in a backpack
The partnership is a result of a $35,000 grant from the Spartanburg Regional Foundation, awarded to Union Medical Center in 2019 to help implement health programs in Union County. This backpack program is one of many innovative health initiatives meant to reach residents outside of the doctor’s office or hospital.
“This collaboration between Union Medical Center and the Union County Carnegie Library takes a creative approach to reaching community members in need and promoting wellness,” said Spartanburg Regional Foundation Executive Director Kristy Caradori. “We are thrilled to play a role in making it happen.”
In recent years, Union Medical Center has received numerous other Foundation grants, and Union County residents have benefited from Foundation-supported programs such as mobile mammography.
“One of the things we look at as a hospital is what we can do to improve the health of the community,” Newhouse said. “Our objective was to focus on health education, healthy eating tips, health screening activities and personal fitness opportunities.”
Newhouse and Union County Library System Director Taylor Atkinson said the backpacks include:
A blood pressure cuff
A handheld EKG to track heart activity
A pulse oximeter to record oxygen level
A smart scale
Health information booklets and pamphlets
“This is a health screening kit,” Newhouse said.
Items to get moving
The program also created duffle bags that include all of the ingredients for a good workout.
“The duffle bags contain exercise equipment such as yoga mats, medicine balls and kettlebells,” Atkinson said.
In addition to the backpacks, the duffle bags and their contents, Atkinson said the library system has used the grant to purchase healthcare-related books that are now on the shelves of the Carnegie Library.
“As part of the grant we also ordered books for the collection and those are available for checkout,” Atkinson said.
The new books include:
“Fitness After 40”
“Exercise Technique Manual for Resistance Training”
“The Diabetes Code”
Health resource hub
Atkinson said that the partnership of the library system and the medical center is part of ongoing efforts to diversify its community services.
“We like to think of ourselves as a resource hub for the people of Union County,” Atkinson said. “We do things now like workforce development, and we have hired a new social worker who is going to connect Union County residents to any resources they need.”
“The medical center and the library system are overall trying to get more people to pay attention to their health and exercise,” Newhouse said. “This is an exciting opportunity to partner with the library to get these health kits and information to the community.”
For more information about checking out the backpacks, duffle bags and books, call the Union County Carnegie Library at 864-427-7140.