In the pink: Health fair coming to Walmart Friday

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, September 28, 2013

 Screenings, prevention and education are the focus of the upcoming Women’s Health Fair. VIDANT BEAUFORT HOSPITAL | CONTRIBUTED

Screenings, prevention and education are the focus of the upcoming Women’s Health Fair.

Prevention and education are two key components of the upcoming Women’s Health Fair that’s part of the Paint the Town Pink observance during October.
The free health fair runs from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday at the entrance to the Washington Walmart. Free screenings, including blood pressure, blood sugar and body-mass index, will be provided. Information and material geared toward women’s health will be provided, including physical therapy, mammograms, osteoporosis and cancer.
“This is part of our community outreach. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We’re having a women’s health fair for that reason, and it’s all part of this initiative. Women’s health is more than just breast cancer, so that’s why we’re doing this women’s health fair to kind of focus on all of women’s health — the whole package,” said Amanda Sanders, spokeswoman for Vidant Beaufort Hospital, in an interview at the hospital. “These health fairs really demonstrate our mission, which is to extend care outside of these four walls. That’s why we’re doing screenings and education involved with this health fair.”
Ashley Corbett, a registered dietitian with Vidant Beaufort Hospital, said one purpose of the health fair is to further women’s awareness of how health issues affect their lives.
“I think the screenings really give them the education and awareness of things they may not know about their health. … There may be people who come up to our stations who’ve never had their blood pressure checked. So, this is a good way to monitor it — same thing with glucose. It’s giving them the education they need to seek healthy lifestyles, healthy changes.”
Sanders said the Women’s Health Fair and other health fairs the hospital conducts are opportunities for the hospital to go to the public instead of having the public come to it. The hospital’s staff will be well represented at the health fair, she said.
“We’ve got a lot of clinical folks who are coming to represent wellness, mental health. We will have two dietitians there. … A girl from cardiopulmonary is going to be doing the blood pressures. … There’ll be a lot of clinical minds to help answer questions,” Sanders said.
Should some of the screenings indicate there may be health problems, those problems will be addressed, Sanders said.
“We’re doing something a little bit new, maybe a little more involved this time. Instead of just hitting three screenings and saying, ‘Here’s your information, and here’s a copy if you want to send it to your physician. Have a nice day,’ they’ll go through each screening. After their screening, they’ll sit and meet with a health coach, and that will be our two hospital dietitians,” Sanders said.
Corbett explained what those two dietitians would do at those coaching sessions.
“When they come and sit with us, being the health coaches, we’re going to ask them a couple of different questions, not just about the different blood pressure, glucose, BMI — things like that — that we check at the stations. We’re also going to talk about your risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis — if you have a family history of it — are you curious about it or want more information,” Corbett said.
The health coaches will ask more questions, including ones regarding lifestyle choices, she said.
“When we get that information, then we’ll give them the tailored information that they’re looking for, that they want, so when they leave they’ll have exactly what they want,” Corbett said.
The screenings are not complete medical checkups, Sanders noted.
“What they can do is kind of get like a snapshot of their overall health. … At that point, even though maybe their numbers look healthy, there may be other things that we get clued in on so that we can kind of direct them in the right direction,” she said.
“If we see numbers that are off-the-chart scary, we will get them medical attention right away,” Sanders said.
The screening results also are reviewed after the health fair to make sure people whose data raise concerns are contacted and warned.
“Ashley’s led this initiative in the past. She actually goes and calls those people and makes connections,” Sanders said.
Men may take advantage of the health fair.
“We will not turn anyone away,” Sanders said.
The Beaufort County Health Department will have representatives at the health fair.
“They’re going to come to give information on BCCCP, and that is Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program,” Sanders said. “They help low-income women who don’t have Medicare B or Medicaid and are of a certain age, help get their mammograms.”

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike