Beginning Aug. 25, Cara
Gravlin, a certified nurse practitioner, will present a series of
informational "Health Capsules," interactive workshops designed to
give attendees a shot in the arm where medical knowledge is
concerned. Gravlin works with SIU School of Medicine in their
Springfield office and the newly opened Mount Pulaski Clinic, at 509
E. Chestnut in Mount Pulaski. The clinic has been open since April
and has been well-received in this small community, which has been
without a doctor's office since last year.
The Health Capsules are designed to provide information and
support for folks experiencing health difficulties, in addition to
The first workshop focuses on the heart. The session will provide
free blood pressure screenings, information on risk factors, and
background on ways to minimize the chance of developing heart
disease and to prevent heart attacks.
There will be opportunity for informal discussion with the nurse
practitioner as well. "People need to know what questions to ask
their physician," Gravlin says. "What tests should be performed on a
healthy 50- or 60-year-old? What should you expect when you have a
known risk? We'll give you information that will help you
communicate better with your doctor."
While Gravlin hopes for feedback from workshop attendees to plan
future workshops, she envisions programs dealing with Alzheimer's
disease, Vial of Life (a plan to preserve vital health information
for use in an emergency situation), diabetes and cancer screenings.
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The first workshop, "Heart Disease -- Risk Factors
and Prevention," will be at Zion Lutheran Church's cafeteria, 203 S.
Vine in Mount Pulaski, on Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is
welcome to come.
Mount Pulaski Clinic opened for business in April as
an extension of services offered at SIU School of Medicine. The
clinic was inspired by Mary Brown, a registered nurse and lifetime
resident of the community. In 2007, the town's doctor closed his
doors to pursue work at BroMenn in Bloomington, leaving Mount
Pulaski without a doctor for the first time since the 1800s. Brown
knew a health clinic would be well-received in Mount Pulaski.
Brown signed on to act as nurse, and Gravlin, her
co-worker in Springfield, jumped at the chance to provide care as
nurse practitioner two days a week, Mondays and Thursdays from 8
a.m. until 5 p.m. Gravlin specializes in adult primary care covering
ages 16 and up. She is supported in her work by Dr. David Resch, a
Springfield physician for SIU who collaborates and oversees the work
in Mount Pulaski.
SIU School of Medicine has seen the need for rural
health care and decided to open the clinic in the same offices the
previous doctor used, just off Route 121 at 509 E. Chestnut St.,
beside Subway. The clinic's goal is to continue to provide care to
more patients and eventually open their doors more days in the week
and provide care to all ages.
If you have any questions regarding the Health
Capsules or establishing care at the clinic, contact Mount Pulaski
Clinic on Mondays or Thursdays, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., at 217-792-3442.
[From Jo Hilliard, Mount Pulaski
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