Care Fair approaches


Wanda Holden performs a blood pressure check on Kristy Bland, marketing coordinator for Sampson Regional Medical Center. This is one of the health screenings that will be offered during the annual Care Fair.

Sampson Regional Medical Center strives to provide the best health care possible for the community, staff say, and as part of those efforts they will be hosting the annual Care Fair Saturday.

The health fair, according to Kristy Bland, marketing coordinator for SRMC, offers service and program information on topics that are health-related, while providing insight and analysis from medical experts — all free of charge.

This year’s Care Fair coincides with National Hospital Week and will culminate week-long activities that are thanking the employees and health care officials for all their hard work and dedication to the hospital and the community. With the community as the hospital’s primary focus, the health fair is a way the hospital can give back and support the community.

Saturday’s event will be held at the Walmart Portrait Center from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

According to Bland, the Care Fair is a way for the hospital to meet the needs of the community. It isn’t your typical health fair, Bland noted, because those who attend are allowed to do more than just receive basic information, they are offered an insight into their health and the way to have a healthy lifestyle.

“The different screenings we offer will guide people through what they need to do to keep their good health or better their current health lifestyle,” Bland acknowledged. “We will have experts on hand to inform them of the proper steps they need to take to better their life.”

During Saturday’s event, basic health screenings, such as cholesterol checks, blood glucose checks and blood pressure checks, will be performed. There will also be “Ask the Expert” sessions with someone from women’s health, general surgery, pharmacy and home health. Denise Wilks and Ann Conrad will be available from 9-10 a.m.; Dr. LaShawn Strayhorn and Conrad will be available from 10-11 a.m.; hospital pharmacist Sandy Odum will be available to answer any questions about medications from 11 a.m. – noon; and husband and wife surgeon team, Dr. Mariana Mendible and Dr. Andres Fleury, will be on hand from noon until 1 p.m.

In addition to the health screenings, Bland said there will be information in the areas of wellness and fitness, health education and women’s health. The Care Fair will also offer discovery stations where visitors can see demonstrations and have an opportunity for hands-on experiences that not only teach about health, but show someone how to better understand the best ways of taking care of themselves.

“We want everyone to know the risk factors and indicators of good health,” noted Robin Palmer, Care Fair coordinator and wellness educator for the hospital. “You want people to understand where they stand and what things they can do to help improve or maintain their health.”

Hospital employees will be volunteering their time during the fair, Bland said, as a way to give back to the community for all their support of the hospital and its staff. This year’s fair is being hosted at Walmart as a way for the hospital to be out in the community, with hopes of reaching as many people as possible.

“We hope people will just come in while they are there doing their shopping,” Palmer said. “There is no need to register or make any appointment. Just stop in and take advantage of what we are offering. The fair will allow the community to know what services the hospital offers in the event those services are needed.”

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