Community health fair returns for 2nd year

Published 6:03 pm Monday, March 28, 2016

Beaufort County Health Department is gearing up for its second annual 411 Community Health Fair on Saturday.

The event will include free health screenings and public health vendors’ displays, as well as opportunities for some family fun, including balloon animals and a bake sale to benefit Relay for Life.

Kimberly Matthews, from Beaufort County Health Department, said they are hoping this year’s event will be bigger and better than the one last year, with more vendors already signed up for Saturday.

Along with the displays from fire safety experts, Washington Police Department and Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, organizers have also lined up a boat display with the U.S. Coast Guard, Matthews said. Each division of the health department will have representation there, as well as Parks and Recreation, Department of Social Services, Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center and Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children and more.

Matthews said Vidant Beaufort Hospital employees will also be available for free health screenings, including screenings for blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and skin cancer.

“We will be having the event rain or shine,” she said, adding that the event will just move indoors if it rains. “I think it’ll be a good time.”

Along with the increase in vendors, Matthews said they are hoping to have about 500 people attend the event, as compared to last year’s 350 visitors.

She said the main goal is to reach as many residents as possible to educate them about public health resources and encourage a better quality of life.

“Our health director is very big on … being an important part of the community, and we wanted to let people know what is available for them in the community,” Matthews said. “It’s all involved, trying to … raise the health of the community through understanding.”

The health department hopes the event will continue to grow in upcoming years, and through that growth, be able to reach more residents, she said.

“We’re real excited,” Matthews said.

The health fair is free and open to the public.

The 411 Community Health Fair will be held Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Beaufort County Health Department, 1436 Highland Drive, Washington.