About 2,000 attend Pa. health fair

March 08, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

? Though a change of venue caused a decrease in the number of screenings and demonstrations, hundreds were lined up at Waynesboro Hospital.

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Hundreds of people lined the velvet rope as if waiting to see a blockbuster film Saturday morning at Waynesboro Hospital.

But it was a needle to the arm that greeted the visitors in the next room.

Free blood screenings were one of several services provided to the community during the 25th annual Waynesboro Health Fair.

The screenings tested for anemia, cholesterol and blood-sugar levels, as well as for prostate cancer in men older than 50.

"It's so good to see a lot of people turning out," said Pepper Ridilla, laboratory manager at Waynesboro Hospital. "If people don't come in then they might not know they're at risk."

Ridilla had a busy morning administering blood screenings to many of those who were expected to visit the health fair on its silver anniversary.


Event coordinator Brian Cordell estimated that nearly 2,000 people attended the fair despite a significant decrease in the number of screenings and demonstrations.

There were 27 vendors at the fair, less than half that were on hand last year. The reduction became necessary after the fair was moved to the hospital's first floor from its traditional location of the Waynesboro Area Senior High School gymnasium and cafeteria.

"We wanted to go ahead with the fair instead of postponing it for another year," Cordell said. "We didn't want to put off the 25th anniversary."

Because of limited stations, Summit Health officials primarily accentuated the internal operations of Waynesboro Hospital. Missing were the outside entities that frequented the fair in years past.

"They are disappointed, but they understand the situation," Cordell said. "We're hopeful to move the fair back to the high school and bring back those services because they serve the community."

Of the featured hospital services, blood screenings perhaps were in the highest demand early Saturday. Another high-traffic area was the bone density screening room.

The ultrasound tests measured bone mass on a scale from 0.0 to minus-2.5 - the lower considered osteoporotic, with 8 to 11 times greater risk of fracture.

"A scan could reveal a negative bone health, but it doesn't mean it can't be improved," said John Schaffer, manager of Digital Imaging at the hospital. "Increased exercise, calcium supplements - there are many things you can do to improve the strength of bones."

Visitors also could undergo heart, pulmonary, hearing and vision screenings. A mock arthroscopic surgery was among the demonstrations, which were accompanied by informational handouts to promote health and wellness.

"We want to get people to live a healthier lifestyle and be more knowledgeable about their bodies," Cordell said.

Summit Health has scheduled its fifth annual health fair for Saturday, April 19, from 7 to 11 a.m. at its Norland Avenue campus in Chambersburg, Pa.

If you go

What: Fifth annual Summit Health Fair

When: Saturday, April 19, 7 to 11 a.m.

Where: Summit Health campus, 755-757 Norland Ave., Chambersburg, Pa.

For information: call 1-888-318-7855

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