Health Fair is tomorrow at Kerr McGee

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Health Fair is tomorrow at Kerr McGeeHundreds of residents check out dozens of vendors at a previous Health Fair, hosted by Ridgecrest Regional Hospital — News Review file photo

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One highlight of Ridgecrest Regional Hospital’s Health Fair, held tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kerr McGee Center, is the scores of agencies gathered in one place for anyone looking for resources to improve their wellness.

“One of the things I talk about is how chronic diseases — like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes — have strong connections to our lifestyles and environments,” said Tera Moorehead, director of community outreach at RRH.

“One of the benefits of the Health Fair is that people have a venue for finding the support they need to address their health goals. If you know what we have available in our community, it’s much easier to make better choices.”

Moorehead said that she frequently hears feedback from people who are surprised by the variety of support and services available locally. “Part of that is because so many of our vendors offer their services from their homes, not a storefront, so having them all in one place is great for the public.”

She also noted that she has adopted a broad definition of “wellness” to capture the comprehensive factors associated with the concept.

“When we think about things that impact our health, the first things most of us think about are nutrition and physical activity,” said Moorehead. “More and more evidence shows that even things like our finances and our social interactions affect our health. So we have tried to include as many connected services as possible.”

From skin care to financial planning to adopting animal companions, fairgoers will find it all, she said.

RRH also partners with agencies like the MOMS Club of Ridgecrest, who will present activities and information relating to early childhood education from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be outdoor obstacle courses and other fitness events, as well as the popular dodgeball tournament, held in the gym.

Food options include brunch from Casa Corona, served from 7-10 a.m. for $5 per person, and lunch catered by Taste o’ the Town from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About 1,000 attend the fair each year, said Moorehead, and some 400 of those take advantage of reduced-cost screenings while they are there.

“Screenings are an extremely important part of preventive health,” she said.

“Statistics from the Center for Disease Control show that providing medical care for chronic diseases accounts for about 75 percent of our nation’s health spending,” she said.

“Most of these are preventable through lifestyle choices — including nutrition, activity and choosing not to smoke.”

For $35 per person, an individual can have a complete chem panel screening to measure glucose, iron, potassium, sodium, thyroid, white-blood cell count and more.

“Finding out your numbers, and taking them to your physician, is the first step in understanding and setting your health goals.”

For the same price, individuals can also be screened for prostate cancer or ovarian cancer.

Appointments can be made by calling 760-499-3975. Moorehead said that it’s possible to get a walk-in appointment on the day of the fair, but she recommended calling ahead to schedule a time and receiving fasting instructions for the screening.

“I love seeing families come out to take advantage of the activities, and to start sharing the importance of wellness and being proactive about their health.”

Story First Published: 2019-03-08