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23rd annual health fair set for Saturday at high school gym

March 16, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Promoters of the annual Waynesboro Health Fair feel it is an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the 2,000 people that attend it any given year.

That typically includes three-generation families, community leaders, businesspeople and parents of young children, they said.

"It is like a Norman Rockwell thing," said Dr. Edward Ewing, laboratory medical director of Waynesboro Hospital.

The event, in its 23rd year, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The scheduled participants are 24 community and county agencies and 26 departments affiliated with Summit Health, the health-care system that includes Chambersburg, Pa., and Waynesboro hospitals.

Free services at the health fair include blood, bone and children's vision screenings.

"We have identified, periodically, a patient who is at risk for diabetes," Michael Hockenberry, director of allied services, said.

Bone screening has allowed the same to be done for people with a predisposition for breaks and fractures, according to John Schaffer, diagnostic imaging manager.

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The risk of osteoporosis is increased in women with small frames, smokers and the physically inactive.

Also, "there's certain medication that can reduce the bone density," Schaffer said.

Bone screening, which has been done for the past two years at the health fair, is performed on the patient's heel, and the results are immediate.

"It uses ultrasound, so there's no radiation (or) pain," said Schaffer, who asked that women do not wear hosiery if they want to be screened.

Hockenberry requested that people seeking blood screening fast before the health fair.

"We usually tell them not to eat from midnight on," he said.

Blood screenings, which primarily cover glucose and cholesterol, in the past have averaged 300 people a year. The results are mailed to the participants in seven to 10 days.

In the past, Ewing has showed health fair attendees a Pap smear through a microscope.

"Usually, I pummel them with information," he said with a laugh.

He said that at one health fair, a woman promised to get a Pap smear after 10 to 15 years of not doing so.

Several tables at the health fair will have information "related to the healthy heart," according to Hockenberry.

Others will have information about tobacco-free living, infection control and child safety seats. Ewing said health-care professionals are emphasizing prevention to curb some of the serious problems.

Hockenberry said the health fair also allows participants to look at their health as a whole, which is becoming a more common viewpoint among professionals.

"A lot of these functions are interrelated," Hockenberry said. "It's becoming more and more tied together. (The industry) is looking at health care as a whole continuum."

Ewing hopes the health fair will create a desire to study the sciences in young people. He feels the ongoing nursing shortage in the country might be eclipsed by the pending shortage of people qualified to work in labs and radiology.

One table at the fair will have information about employment opportunities with Summit Health.

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