Connecting with Health Connections

When someone in your family gets sick, you'd like to know there's somewhere to turn for advice. Hundreds of people used to get that help by calling Ask A Nurse.

It shut down in August, but Stormont-Vail still has a phone service to keep you connected.

Health Connections first started 10 years ago. In September - the first month since Ask A Nurse fell silent - Health Connections saw an extra 300 calls come in.

"People nowadays are looking for quick answers to health problems, and that's what Health Connections is here for," said manager Charlotte Schirmir.

Like Ask A Nurse did at Saint Francis, Health Connections lets people call in with medical questions. They've learned there's just something about hearing a voice on the other end of the line.

"A lot of people don't have physicians, so they call us with questions," Schirmir said. "We answer them as best we can and get them to an appropriate medical resource."

Schirmer said Health Connections isn't there to replace a doctor. In fact, nurses are only on staff from 4:30 pm to midnight Monday thru Friday, and from 8 a-m to midnight weekends and holidays.

During office hours, callers are referred to a doctor. In the early morning hours -- when the fewest people call -- a Cotton-O'Neil doctor could be paged if necessary.

If you need the service, Health Connections can be reached at (785) 354-5225.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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