Fort Stewart’s Winn Army Community Hospital collaborated with Liberty Regional Medical Center and Liberty and Long county health departments’ promotion teams to host a community health exposition June 1 at the Shuman Recreation Center.
The event provided educational services and activities to military and community families all under one roof free of charge.
The day began with a 3-kilometer run/walk followed by health-care activities, which included educational booths, games, Zumba and Tai Chi
lessons, a blood drive and cardiopulmonary-resuscitation demonstrations, among many other activities.
“We wanted to connect the community with health resources available right here in the county,” said Valarie Camak-Isaac, event coordinator from Winn hospital. “So, we worked with Liberty Regional Medical Center and Liberty and Long county health departments to create a health-awareness event that brings our military and civilian communities together.”
Vendors provided interventional service, which included blood-pressure checks, diabetic-glucose tests, cholesterol screenings and mammogram scheduling.
“We have a ton of medical professionals, nutritionists, nurses, plus cancer survivors out here today, to answer questions and let the community know they are here to help,” Camak-Isaac said. “We want people to know how many health resources they have at their fingertips.”
This event first was opened last year and pulled in more than 600 community members and 53 vendors. The vendor list increased to 56 this year.
“We are getting more and more people asking about this event and wanting to be vendors,” she said. “It is a successful event.”
Participants moved from booth to booth, receiving an array of health advice.
“This event has been really informative,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Sibley with the 385th Military Police Battalion, Fort Stewart.
Sibley attended the event with his family and started the day off running in the 3-kilometer race. His son, Jordan, was the fastest child to cross the finish line. After the race, Sibley stopped at the Liberty County Chiropractic clinic booth where Dr. David Peer, clinic chiropractor, evaluated his posture.
“We are showing people what is going on with spines and how posture relates to their alignment,” Peer said. Sibley stepped into a device that measured the high points of his shoulder and hips to figure out how his body naturally leans and how it relates to his posture.
“I didn’t realize that I lean a bit to the right,” he said. “I guess that’s probably what is causing my back pain.”
Sibley has had pain in his back for about five years. He said he tries to stretch to relieve it, but it never goes away.
“The chiropractor offered me an affordable rate to get an x-ray to see what can be done to fix the problem,” Sibley said. “But, we are moving to California in a few weeks, so I won’t be able to take the offer, but I would take it if we were staying here.”
Many booths offered discounts to potential patients. This year, health-fair coordinators added more child-friendly activities to draw families to the event.
“The famous Little Patches Clinic has been a great show catcher,” Camak-Isaac said. “The hands-on demonstrations really help the children understand how germs spread.”
At the Little Patches booth, children were taught that hand washing is the most important way to stop germs from spreading.
“We put a special lotion on the kid’s hands and use a black light to show them how much bacteria are on their hands,” said Kimberly Linzan, Liberty Regional Infection control employee. “They then wash their hands, and we do the process again to see how well they washed off the germs from their hands.”
The children were able to see spots that they missed by washing and learned what they needed to improve their hand-washing techniques.
“Kids need to realize how easily germs spread,” she said. “I think when they see it so clearly on their hands, it really makes sense to them, and that’s our goal.”