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Fair tries to spread health

May 08, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HANCOCK -- Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock opened its doors Friday and took its wellness message outside.

Other local organizations, such as Washington County Hospital and Fulton County Medical Center, joined in to talk about health in the great outdoors.

The health fair is an annual chance to promote health in the community and explain what Tri-State offers, said Sheila DeShong, the center's interim executive director.

Groups from Washington County, Morgan County, W.Va., and Fulton County, Pa., set up 28 booths, said Carol Froebe, a referral specialist at Tri-State Community Health Center.

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Froebe and Kevin Yost, a facilities organizational manager, organized the health fair.

At one table, Teresa Dumpe, a certified registered nurse practitioner at Tri-State, talked about sports injuries and how to prevent them.

People can ease into exercising with a short walk, she said.

"Just get a pair of sneakers, go outside, 10 minutes out, turn around, 10 minutes back," Dumpe said. "You've done a mile, mile and a half. Painless."

If nothing else, "just get outside, get some sunlight," she said.

Dr. Brian Stanley, also with Tri-State, answered questions about quitting smoking.

His table had an enticing offer: "Earn $2000 at home in your spare time! Ask me how."

The money was a calculation of savings for people who stop buying cigarettes. A chart prepared by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company showed that a year of cigarettes, at one $5.50 pack a day, costs about $2,000.

Stanley said Washington County Health Department has a program to help people end their smoking habit.

"I don't think most people need to be talked into quitting," he said. They ask questions about cessation when they're ready to try it.

Dr. Tara Scheck, Tri-State's medical director, stood at a booth promoting Alex's Lemonade Stand, an organization that raises money to fight childhood cancer.

In February, Scheck's son, Henry, died of cancer at age 4. An Alex's Lemonade Stand event will be held in his memory at Maugansville Elementary School on May 16.

Other booths at Friday's health fair offered information about obesity and teenage pregnancy, among other topics.

Attractions for children included a magic show, a tricycle rodeo, an inflatable moon bounce and a petting zoo.

Froebe said it was encouraging to see a Hancock health class attend. Information will spread further if "30 kids go back and tell 30 more," she said.

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