The 27th-annual Health Fair and Family Fun Day will be held at the Grace Community Church on Saturday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the community is encouraged to attend.
For nearly the past three decades, Fayette County Memorial Hospital, the Fayette County Health Department and many other local organizations have come together to inform the community of the importance of staying healthy. Each year, the health fair offers a fun day for the whole family in addition to the numerous health screenings that come at a much cheaper rate or even free.
“We started out years ago doing this at the First Baptist Church in their basement,” Cheryl Royster, director of social service with the Fayette County Memorial Hospital, said. “It has been a combination and facilitation of all the agencies in town ever since the beginning. So we have been there, the fairgrounds, the old Washington High School, and year after year we have outgrown those locations. Grace Community Church has been a very good venue and we literally take over every inch of that church. I would say we have been holding it there for 10 years.”
The health fair committee has always been open for anyone to participate on, but according to Royster, most of the active participants include the hospital, the nursing facilities in town, Hospice of Fayette County, the health department, assisted living facilities and other health-oriented organizations. The committee meets two times a month until April, then they meet once before the health fair.
“The event this year is going to be comparable to what we had last year,” Royster said. “One of the biggest things are health findings. We are looking for screenings to identify concerns and link people with what they need. Not only do we draw blood at a very reasonable price, those results are sent to those individuals and their physician if they have a local physician. This is something we do very timely for them. We also are going to do finger sticks for blood sugar checks with the diabetic table this year and depression screenings will be offered. We have a lot of fun things as well.”
According to Royster, hand paraffin, height and weight screenings, blood pressure screenings, foot screenings and many others will be available. To register for blood work or for other screenings, contact Royster at (740) 335-2945 to schedule. Royster also said that Faith In Recovery will be at the event to pass along information on addiction and its efforts in the community, and a private space will be available for those in need of communicating an addiction issue.
“One big thing for this year is the vascular screening,” Royster said. “We contract at the hospital for Christ Hospital to provide that service to us and they are going to be able to do that again this year. So rather than do that test elsewhere we are going to do that here the five days after the health fair. For $75, which is a very reduced rate, residents can come here and receive the screening. It is, on average, a 20 minute procedure and the results come back very quickly. This is on top of bone density screenings, as we are partnering with Interim Home Health to do that, and the health department is covering the expense for us.
“I think that our mission and vision is to be a part of this community in the best way we can and I think this is a wonderful outreach method to be able to do that,” Royster said. “We reach a lot of people at the health fair and get the message out, even surrounding communities come in because this has gotten to be so well known. I think this is very much part of our vision and mission. In this day and age, with everyone being more aware of costs, we have to be practical. Hospital costs overall are escalating, so this is a great opportunity for the whole family to come out, because there are screenings, evaluations and education for everyone of all ages. It is a very effective way to get those screenings done, get the community the information, and do it in a fun way as well.”
Royster and other hospital officials also said a, “Thank you,” to all of the organizations, vendors and volunteers who take time to support the health fair. They said that without them they could not have this event year after year. For more information contact Royster at (740) 335-2945 and stay with the Record-Herald for more updates on attractions and the possible addition of screenings.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy