The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

April 9, 2013

Community Health Fair set Friday

Staff Reports
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living will host its ninth annual Community Health Fair on Friday.

The fair, which includes speakers, free screenings and free restaurant samplings, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Evangelistic Temple, 3011 North Loop 256 in Palestine.  

“We know that after tobacco, obesity is the second most serious, preventable cause of death in the U.S. Each year more than 300,000 deaths in the United States are due to some obesity related disease,” PRCIL Executive Director Sara Minton said. “Our community health fair will target not only obesity but diabetes, hypertension, and many other health related issues as well as promote health and wellness alternatives.

“We know that education is the name of the game — the more you know, the better your chances are to correct and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Minton continued. “This health fair is just an extension of our educational efforts to promote healthy living and prevent health-related disabilities.”

Local restaurant exhibitors showcasing their healthy menus this year are Bishop’s Brisket House, Cotton Patch, Dairy Queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Schwan’s, Shep’s, Subway, Texas Agri-Life Extension Service, Wal-Mart Deli and William George Produce.

Union Pacific Railroad and Salvation Army will be supplying the water.

Free screenings for blood sugar and cholesterol will be provided by Brookshire’s Pharmacy. Participants need to be fasting for best screening results and snacks will be available for individuals to eat after they have had their tests.

“This fair is for every community member — there is no age limit, and we are especially hopeful that individuals who do not have health insurance and are living on fixed incomes will take full advantage of this opportunity to get the free screenings at no expense to them,” Minton said. “In the past, all of the local home health agencies have been so good to provide free screenings and this year is certainly no different.”

During the fair, A Pineywood’s will be conducting memory screenings, Crown Health Services will be checking 02 stats, Encompass will be taking blood pressures and Jordan’s Health Services will be performing the A1C testing and neuropathy screenings.

In addition, Denise Shoemake with Wal-Mart Vision Center will perform vision screenings, Dr. Zac Leslie and his staff from Willow Creek Chiropractic and Wellness Center will conduct bilateral spinal screenings and chair massages.

Texas Oncology will perform PSA blood tests for men for early detection of prostate cancer.

Holly Black with Texas Agri-Life Extension Service will promote her Walk Across Texas and Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes Programs. She will be performing healthy cooking demonstrations and displaying her Car Seat Safety and Tobacco Awareness programs as well.

“The ETMC Mobile Mammography Unit will be providing digital screening mammograms, which is the best known method in early detection of breast cancer, Minton said. “ETMC will file on Medicare, Medicaid and third party insurance and funding is available for women without insurance.”

Individuals who do not have insurance may contact Jessie Bell at 903-590-2988 to schedule their free mammogram. Individuals planning on having mammograms must pre-register prior to the health fair on Friday at 1-800-648-8141 and press 3 to schedule their appointment.

Trinity Mother Frances will perform bone scans.  

“This is such an important test and it is really important for women to get their score so they will know where they stand with osteoporosis and their bones,” Minton said. “This testing is noted for having a 90 percent or better accuracy rate.”

Special Health Resources will provide testing for HIV and Hepatitis C.

“This is usually a topic that many do not want to discuss, however, in this day and time, it is necessary to address,” Minton said.

Dr. Brandy Ricard will be completing skin screenings and checking for areas that might be suspicious for skin cancer.

“Health professionals will be checking hemoglobin levels and screening for iron deficiency,” Minton said. “Many people are anemic and do not realize it. If left untreated, it could lead to more serious problems.”

Glenn Conner of Grace Medical Equipment will be demonstrating his paraffin wax treatment, which is an alternative for pain relief.

New vendors this year include Braces R Us and Family Smiles. Their doctors will be performing dental screenings and giving coupons for 50 free extractions.

Anytime Fitness will be calculating Body Mass Index for fair participants, SNAP Fitness will be giving personal fitness assessments and PRCIL will be performing TheraBand activities throughout the morning.

Carter Blood Care will be conducting a blood drive and individuals planning to have the screenings and give blood need to have the screenings done first and then give blood because they will need to eat and drink after donating, Minton said.

“Last year, to encourage healthy eating, each fair participant was given a small bag of fruit and vegetables from PRCIL’s Farmer’s Market booth,” she said. “This was so well received that this year we will again be having the Farmer’s Market.

“The Community Health Fair is such a large undertaking, it takes many individuals working together to pull it off,” she added. “This year, we are so fortunate to have the help of the Trinity Valley Community College nursing students. There are so many things that must be done and without these students, we just could not do it. A big thanks to Linda Bland for helping us on this community project.”

Minton also expressed gratitude to Palestine Regional Medical Center.

“PRCIL’s health fair would not be what it is to our community without the assistance of Palestine Regional Medical Center, the Rehabilitation Unit, and the Behavioral Health Services,” Minton said. “PRMC’s administration believes in contributing and giving back to the community.”

This year when you pull into the parking lot at the Evangelistic Temple, the first thing you will see is the PRMC AmBus.

“This is one of a very few and select emergency vehicles in the State of Texas which the current PRMC administration is responsible for obtaining,” Minton said. “This vehicle can go to the site of a disaster, take care of individuals who are critical, and otherwise, would probably lose their lives because they require immediate attention. It is basically a self-contained, mini ICU.

“The AmBus will be there for fair participants to tour and I hope everyone will take the time to do that,” she said. “I can tell you from my own personal experience, it will make you feel much more secure knowing we have that available to our residents in the event of a disaster.”

PRMC will be completing Sleep Disorder Assessments and Depression Screenings as well as the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test which is a fall risk assessment. PRMC’s Home Point Home Health will be performing the Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) screening.

“This year, we have added more about Emergency Preparedness to the fair because it is so important for everyone to be aware and have a personal plan,” Minton said. “Each year we try to add something new to the fair and naturally the AmBus is the highlight this year.”

Speaking this year will be City of Palestine Emergency Management Coordinator Schelby Wells at 11 a.m. and Dr. Robert F. McFarlane at 1 p.m.

“Schelby is an excellent presenter and will have plenty of tips for disaster preparation for fair participants,” Minton said. “Dr. Robert F. McFarlane will be the key note speaker at 1 p.m. We are always so happy when Dr. McFarlane agrees to speak because he is so knowledgeable about not just issues concerning the heart and he always makes it very interesting and fun for everyone.

“Participants will have a good time, and leave with valuable information which will help them maintain their independent lifestyles.”

Door prizes will be given at the conclusion of speaker presentations. Although many of the vendors will have door prizes at their tables, drawings for the large door prizes will be held at the conclusion of the speaker presentations.

“This year we will be drawing for two 40-inch televisions and a complimentary overnight getaway,” Minton said.

The Community Health Fair is funded totally by Palestine Resource Center, Union Pacific Railroad, Wal-Mart Distribution Center No. 6036 and Wal-Mart Distribution Center No. 6005.

“Our organization (PRCIL) is specifically for people with disabilities and for the past several years we have been promoting our own ‘prevention’ initiative. The Center offers an exercise room, ladies exercise classes, and workshops on various health related topics of interest,” Minton said. “All of these activities are free to those who wish to change their sedentary lifestyles.

“Everything we offer at our Center is not about exercise. For example, we have computer classes, GED tutorials and after school tutoring,” she added. “However, every service is related to independent living; health and wellness is but one very important piece of the independent living puzzle.

“PRCIL’s health fair is a way to reach out not only to our consumers but to community members as well and perhaps provide them with information or educational material that may help them to change their lives for the better.”