On the Road in Effingham--Springfield

The hospital's new bone densitometer machine.
The hospital's new bone densitometer machine.

Things are booming in our area. Thousands of new jobs in what were small, quiet communities, places like Effingham County. More people means more needs, especially for things like healthcare. We're on the road this week in Effingham, where a $30,000 gift will help Springfield's Effingham County Hospital keep pace.

The hospital has a new bone densitometer machine. It's used for early detection of osteoporosis. The Springfield Lions Club donated it to the hospital. The club actually disbanded in 1995, but its assets, which totaled more than $60,000 in cash and property, were left in the hands of four trustees.

"We found out that they needed the density machine and thought we could make a good gift," said trustee Dr. Ray Webb.

The densitometer determines mineral loss in a person based on age and several other factors. "This is a really common problem," explained Dr. Paul Lorenzen. "It's responsible for, I would guess, a good 80 percent of the hip fractures we see in elderly people and some who are not so elderly."

Doctors use the data to prescribe treatment to slow or prevent development of the disease.

With the money they had left, the Lions Club trustees, which also included Larry Weddle, Hilton Knight, and Charles Hartzog, provided the property for Veterans Park, which honors veterans of all wars.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com