Archive for Thursday, March 18, 2004

Screenings offered at annual health fair

March 18, 2004

A year ago, Lisa Crettol noticed she wasn't hearing well out of her right ear.

Thinking it was something minor like congestion, Crettol wasn't too concerned about it.

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But at last year's Community Wellness Festival Free Health Fair, while she was volunteering at the Vintage Park information booth, she decided to have her hearing checked at one of the free screenings that was being offered.

After her screening, Crettol said, she was told to see her doctor immediately.

"She could tell I had significant hearing loss," she said.

Crettol was eventually referred to a specialist where it was determined she had Otosclerosis, the calcification of a small bone in her ear, which had occurred after her recent pregnancy.

"The bone calcified to my eardrum," she said.

She had surgery last May to correct the problem. Now, she said, her hearing is 100 percent.

"If I hadn't had the surgery, I would have lost hearing in both ears," she said.

Crettol, who said she wouldn't have had her hearing checked until her next physical several months later, believes the screening at the health fair saved her hearing.

"I'm glad I took advantage of the screening," she said. "You just really never know."

Health fair co-directors Ruth Sarna and Janet McManus hope others follow Crettol and take advantage of the screenings and other benefits offered at this year's community health fair.

"It's a chance to take advantage of a great service," McManus, Baker University's director of human resources, said.

Around 60 exhibitors with information and education about area health services will be at the third Community Wellness Festival Free Health Fair from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 27 at the Collins Center on Baker's campus, Sixth and Fremont streets.

Some of the exhibitors include the American Red Cross, Parents as Teachers, the American Cancer Society, the Lawrence Oncology Center and the American Heart Society.

"There will also be a lot of free health screenings that will help people improve or monitor the health risks they are taking," McManus said.

Free screenings include blood pressure, body fat, hearing, vision, blood sugar, bone density, lung volume, flexibility and skin cancer.

Sarna, Baker's director of student health, said Lawrence Memorial Hospital will also offer a Total Lipid Profile and other blood tests to assess healthy body functions. Males will also be able to register for a Prostate Specific Antigen test.

There is a fee for the total lipid profile and PSA. Those who pre-register by Friday will pay $25. It will cost $30 if the PSA is included. The fee will increase $10 for those who register on the day of the festival.

Normally, Sarna said, lab work for a lipid profile would cost about $120, another $110 for blood work and an additional $90 for a PSA.

"This is a really good deal for people," she said.

Registration forms for the lab tests were distributed in last week's Signal and the most recent Baldwin School District newsletter. Forms can also be found at the three Baldwin banks, the Baldwin City Market, Santa Fe Market, Espress Yourself and Baker's Harter Union and the Baker Student Health Center.

Sarna said the health fair is a family event, which will include several free door prizes like phone cards, shirts and a children's bicycle.

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

Sarna encouraged both the Baldwin and Baker communities to attend the health fair.

"We're just trying to get people aware of a healthy lifestyle," she said.

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