Many drivers work long and stressful hours, sit for long periods, eat on the go, and may not have time to access the healthcare they need. In response, NewYork-Presbyterian healthcare teams conduct annual screenings for blood pressure, vision, cholesterol, glucose, prostate cancer, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. The drivers also are offered counseling on healthy lifestyle choices and help with stress management, says Deborah Acevedo, R.N., community outreach nurse coordinator of NewYork-Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network’s Outreach Program.
Bernardo De la Rosa, who used to drive 17 hours a day before he reduced his hours because of health problems, now has a primary care doctor, thanks to the fair.
“The doctors discovered things that I didn’t know I had,” he says of the cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and prostate issues the fair’s health workers found.
Acevedo says De la Rosa is just one of many in need of help connecting to such services.
“Some of the health issues that cabdrivers can face are hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, and also a host of genitourinary problems,” Acevedo says. “We want to help them address some of their health needs.”
The need is apparent. Fifteen participants required same-day intervention and were walked directly into the NewYork-Presbyterian Urgicare Center. Three others were taken to the Emergency Department for hypertension or chest pain, more than 40 underwent tests at the HIV/STI screening truck, and 189 drivers took advantage of free prostate cancer screenings, in which a physical exam and PSA blood test were performed. If needed, drivers were referred for a biopsy and follow-up care. Participants with abnormal results received a follow-up phone call to answer questions and connect them to primary care.