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Health Fair treats participants

August 12, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - The Walnut Street Community Heath Center took on a carnival-like atmosphere Saturday morning during its fourth annual health fair. Community residents took advantage of free health screenings, information booths and plenty of free goodies.

"I need some of the free testing done and information on different things," said Cindy McGregor as she sat on a bench outside the health center enjoying an icy treat.

McGregor, of Hagerstown, suffers from arthritis and regularly sees a doctor at the health center, she said.

Terry Henry crunched on an apple while she sat next to McGregor. Henry got her blood pressure checked during the health fair, and discovered it's up a little bit, she said. She also got her skin checked, and was pleased that she had no sun damage, Henry said.

During last year's health fair, about 450 people attended and more than 100 took advantage of the free health screenings, according to Barbara Rundle, the health services coordinator for the center.

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The health fair offers diabetes tests, blood pressure checks, osteoporosis tests, vascular screenings and more at no cost, she said. Organizers hope to attract both new patients and volunteers during the fair, Rundle said. The health center serves patients from Washington County, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, she said.

Children sat getting their faces painted while the smell of freshly popped popcorn filled the air. A few little boys ran around wearing balloon animals on their heads.

Marsha Plunkett visited the fair for the free testing, she said, as her son was fingerprinted by a Hagerstown police officer. She wanted Manual West, 5, fingerprinted because of the world today. "You can't trust anybody," she said.

Inside, Betty Wagonhoffer had her blood pressure checked. It was high, and she was told to contact her doctor, Wagonhoffer said.

Representatives from the Hagerstown Fire Department took information from people who wanted smoke alarms installed in their homes. Using grant money from the state, the fire department could install smoke alarms with 10-year batteries in Hagerstown residents' homes, said Meghan O'Brien. The firefighters who install the alarms also educate people about fire safety, she said.

Anyone interested in the free service can call 301-791-2205, O'Brien said.

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