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30th annual Waynesboro Hospital Health Fair a learning experience

March 09, 2013|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com
  • Aurora Florek and her mom Marguerite Florek talk about a 5 lb. hunk of simulated fat Saturday at the 30th annual Waynesboro Hospital Health Fair at Waynesboro High School. Brother Andrew Florek tests the squishy blob.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The 1,600 people who attended a health fair Saturday morning might not have walked out any healthier, but they could have learned how to live a healthier lifestyle.

They also had a chance to check out their cholesterol level, blood sugar, bone density, lung function, eyesight, hearing and, at one booth, how much body fat they’re carrying.

It was the 30th annual Waynesboro Hospital Health Fair at Waynesboro Area Senior High School. It ran from 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Attendance at the fair for the last two years hovered around 1,400 visitors, said Melissa Dubrow, chief operations officer at Waynesboro Hospital, an affiliate of Summit Health. Summit also owns Chambersburg (Pa.) Hospital.

Dubrow said the results of the tests that were given to visitors Saturday will be mailed to them so they can follow up with their doctors if needed.

“For us, this is more about supporting the community and promoting good health, a way to give back,” she said.

Kim Dangler was working at one of the fair’s most popular stops, the Summit Weight Management Services table. The draw was a rubbery, yellowish lump of what looked like chicken fat. It weighed 5 pounds, was ugly and passers-by satisfied their curiosity by squeezing it and quickly pulling their hands off.

“It’s what body fat looks like,” either spread around the body or sitting in one lump, Spangler said.

She showed a cigar-shaped test tube that held what represented about 16 teaspoons of sugar, the amount one gets from drinking a 12-ounce can of soda. Drinking 116 cans of the same soda would generate enough fat to match the fake fat lump.

The message at the table was that it would be easy to lose weight with changes in lifestyle.

A list of “small things you can do to make a difference” that Spangler was handing out suggested that drinking a pint of water before every meal would result in losing 16 pounds. It also said to avoid soda.

The line before Jackie Mellott’s table was 10 deep at one point. People were waiting to blow into a machine that tested their lung volume.

“It predicts lung volume according to what it should be for a person’s age,” Mellott said. “It tests for asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.”

The machine produced immediate printed results, which Mellott explained to those who took the tests.

The results showed that about 20 people who took the tests by 10:30 a.m. had some problem.

“A few already knew it,” Mellott said.

A tobacco-diseased pulsing pig’s lung at Stacy McCole’s table drew almost as much interest as the lump of fat.

McCole, grant coordinator for Health Communities Partnership of Chambersburg, said the nonprofit agency focuses on tobacco and drug and alcohol issues. It offers classes to about 100 smokers who are trying to quit. She estimates a 60 percent success rate among the nearly 100 participants who take the classes, she said.

Outside behind the school building, Pennsylvania DUI brought its DUI/texting simulator, where participants could get a sense of what it’s like driving impaired or driving while texting.

“There’s a huge difference between driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while texting,” said Mike Martin, who was in charge of the simulator. “Driving on one drink lowers your motor skills by seven-tenths of a second. Driving while texting lowers it by six seconds. You don’t even keep your eyes on the road when you’re texting.”

The simulator tests were sponsored by State Farm Insurance, local agent Tom Rickrode said.

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