On Saturday, Immanuel St. Joseph’s Health system performed a valuable community service and deserves our thanks.

At no cost to patients, ISJ and its doctors, nurses and other staff provided free colonoscopies to uninsured and underinsured residents.

That’s right, free. Everyone over 50 needs to be screened for colon cancer, but many don’t have access.

I volunteered that day and was moved by the gratitude of the participants.

Most of these folks hold regular jobs. They fall through the cracks because their employers don’t offer insurance, or it is too expensive or they have high deductibles and can’t afford a pricey screening test.

As a retired nurse, I know that prevention is the key to reducing future health care costs. ISJ is doing its part to pick up the slack where our current health care system fails.

On behalf of the community and the patients who benefited, heartfelt thanks.

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