The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

April 10, 2012

Community health fair set Friday

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

The fair, which includes speakers, free screenings and free restaurant samplings, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Evangelistic Temple, 3011 North Loop 256 in Palestine.  

“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. 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,” PRCIL Executive Director Sara Minton said.

Several local restaurants will be showcasing their healthy menus that are available for those who would like a healthier choice. Exhibitors this year include Bishop Brisket House, Dairy Queen, Don Jose’s, Kroger, Texas Agri-Life Extension Service, Wal-Mart Deli, and William George Produce.

Ken Owens with Palestine Regional Medical Center will be preparing a healthy, light lunch for all fair participants. Union Pacific Rail Road and Salvation Army will be supplying all of the bottled water.

Free screenings for blood sugar, cholesterol, A1C testing, and blood pressure 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. A Pineywood’s will be conducting memory screenings, Encompass will have self-assessment sheets for fall and balance, Crown will be checking 02 stats and demonstrating their anodyne therapy, Integra Care will be performing the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, and Jordan’s Home Health will be performing neuropathy screenings.”

Dr. Dan Gold’s staff will perform vision and glaucoma screenings, Dr. Zac Leslie and his staff from Willow Creek Chiropractic will conduct bilateral spinal screenings and chair massages, and Texas Oncology will be doing the PSA blood draws to screen for prostate cancer.

Holly Black with Texas Agri-Life Extension Service will be promoting her Do Well Be Well with Diabetes Program, her Walk Across Texas Program and her Car Seat Safety Program.  

“This year, Holly has added an alcohol simulator to promote alcohol awareness. The individual actually gets into the simulator and can see first-hand the effects different levels of alcohol has on a person’s driving. This is new and I think it is going to be very well received by fair participants,” Minton added.  

The ETMC Mobile Mammography will be participating again this year. They will file on Medicare, Medicaid, third party insurance, and funding is available for women without insurance,” Minton said. “We are asking that ladies contact ETMC at 1-800-648-8184 to schedule their appointment prior to the health fair on Friday.”

Glenn Conner of Grace Medical Equipment will demonstrate his Paraffin Wax Treatment which is an alternative for pain relief management and displaying his new Back Jack Flex which also is for pain relief and stabilization. Denise Shoemake with Wal-Mart Vision Center will be performing eye glass repair.”

Carter Blood Care will be conducting a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“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.

Jodi Bainum, Certified Strength and Conditioning Trainer, will be calculating basal metabolic rates (bmr’s) for individuals who would like to know how many calories they burn at rest.  

“These calculations help an individual find out how many calories they need to consume and the amount of activity necessary on a daily basis to lose weight,” Minton said.

Sherry Wages, owner of Curves, will be demonstrating the circuit machines to show how they can strengthen women’s cardiovascular stamina.  

“Fair participants will be able to participate and see just how easy it is to get healthy, stay healthy, and have fun while doing a little exercise,” Minton said.

Something new this year will be Texas Therapeutic Hearing Center from Tyler, who will have its large mobile unit on hand for tours. They will perform hearing screenings, completing inner ear balance assessments and cleaning ears.  

“Their set up is quite unbelievable as the patient is able to see everything they are doing inside of your ear as they are performing the procedure,” Minton said.

Also for the first time, PRCIL will have a Farmer’s Market booth.  

“To encourage healthy eating, each fair participant will be given a small bag of vegetables and fruit to take with them,” Minton said.

The University of Texas at Tyler and Trinity Valley Community College nursing students will assist with the health fair.

“There are so many things that must be done and without these students, we just could not do it. A big thanks to Jennifer Chilton and Linda Bland for helping us on this community project,” Minton said.

Palestine Regional Medical Center is playing a large role in the health fair.

“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 Psychiatric Unit. Most people do not realize that PRMC is one of the largest employers in Anderson County as they employ more than 600 people. The PRMC administration, Alan George and Christi Watkins, are constantly working to improve the current services for community members by adding new services to make the medical facilities the best they can possibly be,” Minton said. “In the 2011 year alone, they have added the Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy, began the new Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric Program, and opened the new Wound Care Clinic. This year PRMC recruited a new cardiologist, Dr. Guarva Aggarwalla, and he will be performing procedures that have never been delivered at PRMC. Before long, people will not have to leave town to get these procedures done. PRMC is constantly changing and I can hardly wait to see what they have in store for Palestine in 2012.”

Andrea Sims, with PRMC, is the one that has pulled everything together for the fair, Minton said, and she and the PRMC staff will be offering many of the services at the health fair to show participants what state-of-the-art medical services PRMC has to offer.  

“PRMC will be educating individuals about wound care, performing sleep apnea screenings, peripheral artery disease screenings, depression and stress screenings. Registered Occupational Therapist Gregg Gunnels with PRMC’s Rehabilitation Unit will be demonstrating Project Safe Home, and Andrea will also be promoting her Senior Friends organization,” Minton said.

Gunnels will be speaking at 11 a.m. and his topic will be “Rethink Your Lifestyle — Making Life Safe.”

“Greg is a dynamic speaker and it will be fun and interactive for everyone,” Minton said.

Keynote speaker is Dr. Robert F. McFarlane and his topic is “A Medical Free-For-All: Bring Your Questions”.    

“People need to have their questions ready about what they want to know and Dr. McFarlane will answer their questions. We are really excited about this because even though Dr. McFarlane is a cardiologist, there is just not much he does not know and it will be interesting as well as fun for everyone,” Minton said. “I think the participants will have a really good time with both speakers and leave with valuable information to help them maintain their independent living.”

Although many of the vendors will have door prizes at their tables, a drawing for the large door prizes will be held at the conclusion of Dr. McFarlane’s presentation.

“This year we are giving away two 42-inch televisions, one 32-inch television and a digital camera,” Minton said.

The community health fair is funded totally by PRCIL, Union Pacific Railroad, Wal-Mart Super Center, Wal-Mart Distribution Center No. 6036 and Wal-Mart Distribution Center No. 6005.

“Since PRCIL is an organization designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, we have been promoting a ‘prevention’ initiative for several years now by opening an exercise room, hiring a trainer to educate and teach ladies exercise classes, and hosting workshops on various health related topics of interest,” Minton said. “This year PRCIL incorporated ‘Wellness From A to Z’ which is a year-long program of workshops and topics on every issue from head to toe. Education is the name of the game; the more you know, the better your chances are to correct and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

The health fair is just an extension of PRCIL’s educational efforts to promote healthy living and prevent health related disabilities.  

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

For more information about the health fair, call PRCIL at 903-729-7505 or 1-888-326-5166 (toll-free, long distance).

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