Hospitals, county partner to promote wellness with countywide health fair

County health fair will be first in several years

News editor

When the Marion County Health Fair opens March 29 at the sports and aquatic center in Marion, it will be the culmination of most of a year of preparation.

Last year the county health department and St. Luke and Hillsboro Community hospitals conducted a community health needs assessment, and the No. 1 need the survey identified was more promotion of health, wellness, and chronic disease prevention, St. Luke director of nursing Jeremy Ensey said.

Ensey said it had been long enough since the last health fair in the county that the organizers weren’t sure how long it had been, so the county and hospitals decided to partner to have a health fair.

A committee of organizers has been meeting every month since October and more frequently for the past month. Organizers will also meet after the health fair to evaluate whether it was successful.

The fair will feature more than 40 exhibitors who offer health services in the county, many of which will offer some services at the fair. For example, the health department will offer vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough for $40, although insurance will not be taken. The vaccine usually costs $72.

Ensey said the county ambulance department is planning a CPR demonstration, and people who teach exercise classes will have demonstrations during the fair, as well. Door prizes will be awarded every 30 minutes beginning at 8:30 a.m.

County health department administrator Diedre Serene said organizers wanted to get all health service providers in the county involved in the fair, so they aren’t charging exhibitors to participate. Any potential exhibitors can contact Ensey at (620) 382-2177, Serene at (620) 382-2550, or Ken Johnson at (620) 947-1460.

The health fair will be from 8 a.m. to noon March 29 at USD 408 Sports and Aquatic Center, 104 N. Thorp St., Marion.

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