Hospital hosts annual health fair

March 20, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Mitch, a purebred Australian shepherd, was among the attendees Saturday at the 22nd annual Waynesboro Health Fair.

His owners, Bob and Sue Bartles, volunteers at the Antietam Humane Society, brought him to the event at Waynesboro Area Senior High School to assist them in teaching people how to approach dogs.

"We show children and adults what to do if an unfamiliar dog approaches them," Sue Bartles said. "Don't run. You can't outrun a dog."

"Always approach a dog with a closed hand and rub it under the chin," she added. "People want to pet a dog on the head and they approach with an open hand, which restricts the dog's field of vision. And ask (the owner) first. Not all dogs want to be petted."


Across the gym, many people tried to walk a white line while wearing goggles that simulate alcohol impairment. Brock Bumbaugh, 9, said he hadn't expected to be able to walk straight while wearing the goggles, and he didn't. He veered to the side and stumbled.

"It was weird," he said.

His sister, Katie, 13, also attempted the task.

"I'm still dizzy," she said. "When you look down at the line, it looks like it's going curved."

The siblings attended the event with their parents, David and Tina Bumbaugh of Waynesboro.

"That's what it feels like to be impaired," said Jason Stutenroth, a Washington Township police officer. "(The goggles) distort your equilibrium and cause you to lose your balance. Hopefully, it acts as a preventative."

Near the police booth was the New Hope Al-Anon Family Group's table, where literature was available about Al-Anon meetings in Adams, Franklin and York counties. Al-Anon is a 12-step program for anyone whose life is or has been affected by close contact with a problem drinker. Information on local meetings may be obtained by calling 866-711-3359.

Ken Shur, vice president and chief operating officer of Waynesboro Hospital, said that 2,000 people were expected to attend the daylong fair. Sixty-seven health-related nonprofit agencies were represented.

"This is one of Waynesboro Hospital's major events for the community," Shur said. "Folks who come can have their blood pressure taken and receive blood screenings totally free. The hospital donates these services on behalf of the community."

Shur credited the many employees who organized the event "and staffed it on a Saturday."

Karla Lear, a registered nurse and quality review coordinator for Waynesboro Hospital, told attendees about the hospital's Patient Safety Initiative. Hospital-acquired infections have decreased, she said, after alcohol-based hand rubs were put near every hospital bed.

"We teach people how to stay safe," Lear said. "Ask questions at the doctor's and at the pharmacy. Don't mix your pills together in one bottle. They might look alike, and you would take the wrong thing."

The hospital has reduced the risk of patient falls with the use of a personal alarm device on patients who are confused or who tend to wander off, Lear said. The device is attached to a chair or a bed, and a string clipped to the patient's clothing. If a patient gets up, the string pulls out of the device and an alarm sounds.

The Waynesboro Welfare Association has been providing nursing services to borough residents since 1931 and currently serves 393 households. The group, which is run solely on donations, also provides food and clothing to qualified individuals, according to treasurer Alson Bohn. Registered nurses provide care and coordinate treatment prescribed by a physician. The association may be reached at 717-762-3712.

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