Each year, the Bloom-Vernon (South Webster) school district host a health fair for the students and the community.
This year marks the 27th year that the fair has been held and it continues to see growth. This year, over 40 health and wellness vendors set up displays and spoke with students and members of the community.
Organizations provided informational brochures about services, offered advice and gave demonstrations.
Amy Shepard from King’s Daughters Medical Center demonstrated the dangers of tobacco use and smoking with inflatable pig lungs.
“We pump them up and we always talk about when you take a big deep breath, we show them the healthy lung. It’s pink, it expands nice and big and then the other lung has been exposed to tobacco, it’s blackened, it doesn’t expand as well,” explained Shepard. King’s Daughters also had displays on smokeless tobacco and how it effects the teeth and gums, nutrition and other services.
The American Red-Cross hosted a puppet show about emergency preparedness for preschool, kindergarten and first grade students. The young students also toured local emergency medical service vehicles, so that they could learn not to be afraid in case of an emergency. The local fire department also did a demonstration, showing students how to be safe in the event of a fire, and not to be afraid of fire-fighters in their gear.
“We make sure that there is something here for all ages,” said organizer Rodney Barnett. “From the youngest children to senior citizens, there’s something for any individual of any age.”
According to Barnett, members of the community look forward to the event all year. The event not only provides information but also serves as a screening site, allowing those who may not have adequate insurance or may not know where to go for services, an opportunity to learn and seize free services. Mobile electrocardiograms (EKG) units were brought in, cholesterol screenings and mammography services were also offered as well as host of others.
“This has been going on long before I’ve worked here, it’s something that’s obviously benefits not only our students and staff, but the community. This has always been a close tight-knit community and anything that we can do to help garner that trust and support for our schools and our district, we want to make sure we capitalize on that and provide services for all community members,” explained Superintendent Brett Roberts. “The schools are the hub of our district, Southern Ohio Medical Center recently put in a family practice here and we’re very grateful for that. But we want to stress the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, it benefits you not only today, but in the long run as well. It’s been a huge positive thing for all of us, the community and the school as one. Mr. Barnett has done a lot of work to organize this, and we’re very grateful for that. We hope to continue this in the future, it’s been a really good thing. I like to think that we all chose to live a little bit healthier because of the health fair.”
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