Archive for Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Community health fair offers number of services

March 13, 2002

Festivals aren't usually thought of as good opportunities to check body fat, vision, hearing or blood pressure.

But the Community Wellness Festival is different.

The Community Wellness Festival, which will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6 at the Collins Center, will give people an opportunity to take advantage of a number of health screenings as well as a variety of health educational information.

"We really encourage people to come," said Ruth Sarna, festival committee co-chair and Baker University's Director of Student Health Services. "I think it will be a fun day."

The wellness festival, which is funded by a Douglas County Community Foundation Grant, is sponsored by Baker University and the city of Baldwin, she said.

This is the first time Baldwin has featured a health fair of this magnitude, she said.

"We've had health fairs on campus for students and faculty for about 10 years," Sarna said. "But we've never had the funds to expand it to the community before."

The wellness festival will offer free health screenings that includes vision, blood pressure, bone density, body fat, hearing, step test, flexibility and lung volume.

Sarna said Lawrence Memorial Hospital will also offer a blood chemistry profile, which includes a total lipid profile.

"It's not just for cholesterol," she said. "It checks all of the components. It determines healthy body function."

Males will also be able to register for a Prostate Specific Antigen test.

Those that register for the blood chemistry profile and PSA must not eat after midnight the day before the health fair, Sarna said.

"You can only have black coffee and water after midnight," she said. "You get better results with fasting."

There is a fee for the blood chemistry profile and PSA. Those who pre-register before March 28 will pay $20. It will cost $25 if the PSA is included. The fee will increase $10 for those who register on the day of the festival.

Registration forms can be found in this week's edition of the Signal as well as in the Baldwin School District newsletter, Harter Union and several area businesses.

Sarna said the cost of the tests is a lot less than normal, including the PSA, which usually costs between $50 and $75. Total value for someone taking all the tests pushes toward $120, she said.

"For all of that lab work, $20 or $25 is extremely reasonable," she said.

But there will be more at the wellness festival than just health screenings.

Around 35 area health agencies and organizations will be exhibiting during the health fair as well, Sarna said, including the American Cancer Society, Douglas County Fire and Ambulance, Parents as Teachers, the Baldwin Athletic Club, Baldwin City Recreation Commission and DCCCA.

"It's a chance to take advantage of some agencies and resources and making yourself aware of what's available," she said.

Some agencies, like Douglas County Aids Project, Baldwin City Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Hospice and Relay for Life, could be looking to sign up volunteers as well.

"This is a good opportunity for these agencies to get into the Baldwin community and say 'Hey, we need help,'" she said.

The Community Wellness Festival is also looking for volunteers. Those interested in assisting can call Sarna at 594-8409.

Transportation is available to those who need it by calling Jackie Lorenzen at 594-2411.

Sarna said she hopes everyone will take advantage of the health fair.

"None of these screenings replace a visit to the physician," she said. "But the screenings are so we are continually aware of our lifestyles and how we are taking care of ourselves.

"And it's a great way to see some of the services you weren't even aware of that are available in the community," she said.

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