Blue Mountain Health System offered members of the community a look inside their newest lab during a summer open house and health fair this week.

Dozens of area residents came to the health fair to take advantage of the free health screenings at the Mahoning Valley Lab on Blakeslee Boulevard. It is the first of three health fairs scheduled this summer and fall.

"My work requires us to have health screenings. I thought this was also a good chance to see what is available in the community," said Jamie Albert of Lehighton. The health fair offered screenings for cholesterol, blood glucose, body fat, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels. "I've never had my body fat analysis taken, so I found that interesting," added Albert.

The health fair served as a chance for the local hospital to connect with area residents and educate the public about health screenings and the importance of taking care of your health.

"Blue Mountain Health System is committed to promoting good health in the community," said Lucille Hough, Director of Laboratory Services at BMHS. "These screenings will help people in our community stay on top of health risks, such as the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as diabetes," she said, noting that discovering a health problem early, before they cause serious complications, is important to maintain optimal health. "If we're able to catch the beginning of disease in its initial phases, we can help people to decrease the adverse impact on their health."

The fair and open house was also an opportunity for the network to show off its newest laboratory facility in Mahoning Township, and to remind members of the community that there are now seven Blue Mountain Health System laboratory locations.

"We are really reaching out to the community in the way of laboratory locations," added Hough. "We have vastly expanded our laboratory locations for the convenience of our community."

In addition to the Mahoning Valley lab, which opened in February of this year, Blue Mountain Health System also offers laboratory services at the Albrightsville Physical Therapy and Laboratory Center, the Gilbert Medical Center, the Switchback Medical Center in Jim Thorpe, and at the office of Carbon Medical Associates in Jim Thorpe. Laboratory services continue to be available at both the Gnaden Huetten and Palmerton hospital campuses.

Additional open house and health fairs will be offered on Wednesday, August 15 at the Albrightsville Physical Therapy and Lab Center on Route 903 and Old Stage Road in Albrightsville, and on Wednesday, October 17 at West End Physical Therapy on Route 209 in Kresgeville. Both health fairs will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon. No registration is required.