The place to be Wednesday was South Webster when Bloom-Vernon Local Schools held their 28th annual health fair. The event was open to the public.
According to Rodney Barnett, who headed up the event for Bloom-Vernon, the health fair was started as a community education program by teachers-at-the-time Jerry and Vicki Evans, and Barnett served on the committee. That was 28 years ago.
This year’s fair attracted 39 vendors along with four hospitals. Some of the hospitals conducted tests and screenings, and a blood drive was also held. Along with students at Bloom-Vernon, Barnett said about 800 people visited the day-long event.
Attending and working the health fair was a recovering Chase Porter, a fireman from Vernon Fire Department. Chase was recently injured when he fell down a hill while working a brush fire for the department. “I’m feeling much better; didn’t break a bone, but had some muscle damage in my back and had a bad concussion,” Porter said. He was sent to St. Mary’s Hospital for his injuries following the injury, and had just been released from the hospital and came to the health fair. He was checking blood pressure of participants, one of which was high school teacher Cyndy Hykes.
Bloom-Vernon High School principal Brett Roberts has been at Bloom-Vernon almost 19 years, and said the health fair was already in existence when he arrived. “We are very, very honored and blessed to be able to offer this to our community, to our school, to our students, our staff. This is a very small, tight-knit community, and to be able to offer health services for them to come in, it’s a win-win situation. They can come in and see our schools and come see the day-to-day things we do a little bit and receive some health services is just a win-win for all of us,” Roberts said.
”Mr. Barnett has done a great job of expanding this. We started out with one hospital, and now we have multiple hospitals with services, and we have community members who show up and take advantage of it. Our students get to see the importance of long-term health, whether it be exercise or just being able to maintain your body, control your blood pressure, your sugar and different type of things of that nature. It is great for all of us, and it gives back to our community, and that’s what we’re really, really proud of.”
Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) hosted what it calls its Healthy Plate. “When you look at it, it should be fruits and vegetables, the more colorful, the better,” Tiffany Hadsell said of the Healthy Plate. “One-fourth of it should be grains, healthy protein, like chicken.” Hadsell said if your plate does not have a lot of color, it is probably not healthy and will not have a lot of nutrition, because it needs to have color. She said a well-balanced meal also needs some kind of dairy, like low-fat milk and cheese, but dairy products should be limited to one to two servings per day. She also encouraged the consumption of lots of water — 8 glasses a day. A pamphlet, “Helphing Hands Portion Control 101,” was available at the fair demonstrating portion control. For example, a clenched fist represents about one cup for fruits and veggies. For meat, the recommended serving size is about the size of your palm. Hadsell advised, “Everything in moderation, but nothing is off limits.”
Also featured at the health fair was a back and neck massage by the Eternal Day Spa from Lucasville. Becca Ault and owner Sandy Cable were offering the massages on the spot at the fair. Cable says she has had the business for four years.
Holzer Medical Center offered non-fasting glucose, cholesterol and bone density tests to people who were interested. Rachel Turner represented Lifeline of Ohio, and was joined by organ transplant recipient Rhonda Sexton, who received a liver in April 2016. Sexton said she is doing well so far with her transplant.
William Lore, a cadet from the Scioto County Career Technical Center security program was working with the Scioto County Sheriff’s department, taking fingerprints for anyone who wanted them, including Kaylee Johnson’s fingerprints.
Also included among the vendors were Community Action, Scioto County Early Headstart, Scioto County Health Department, SOMC, Southern Ohio Shelter, AAA7, Shawnee State University, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Eternal Day Spa, Scioto County Career Technical Center, Potter House, Children Services, Community Choice, Shawnee Family Health Center, Alternative Nursing Home Care, Lifeline of Ohio, Cradle, Affinity Home Health Care, Crisis Hotline, American Red Cross, King’s Daughters Medical Center, Scioto County Sheriff and many more.
The annual health fair at Bloom-Vernon is one of the biggest and most well-known in the area, and with the good weather the day it was held, it was another successful event for the school.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins at 740-353-3101 ext. 1928