Revamped health fair features Marion County services

Professional staff from St. Luke Hospital in Marion and Hillsboro Community Hospital combined for 88 lab tests blood draws during the fair. “Last year, we were in the low 70s and the year before I think it wasn’t even quite that high,” said Roger Schroeder, one of the event organizers.Organizers of the Marion County Health Fair on Saturday said a different approach was a positive move, even though the number of vendors and attenders was slightly lower than the previous two years.

The health fair is a cooperative effort of St. Luke Hos­pital in Marion, Hills­boro Community Hospital and the Marion County Health Department. This year it was held at the Sports Aquatic Center in Marion.

Cited as an improvement were the 26 vendors who gave the event more of a service focus, according to Roger Schroeder of St. Luke, who helped lead the planning team.

Joanne Faurot of Hillsboro took the time to get a free blood-pressure reading at the Hillsboro Community Hospital booth during Saturday’s Marion County Health Fair.“The booths (last year) were health-related, but they weren’t exactly health-service related,” he said. “They were more like products to help you be healthy. We really wanted to promote the services available here in Marion County.

“We had a lot of good feedback from our vendors and our patrons just about the type of information we had available.”

The two hospitals have offered reduced-price lab tests in previous years, but this time they took blood draws on site rather than asking patrons to have them done in advance.

“This year we ended up doing 88 lab tests,” Schroe­der said. “Last year, we were in the low 70s and the year before I think it wasn’t even quite that high.

“Doing it the day of the event was a good change for us,” he added. “I think it helped with the traffic of the event. People would get their blood drawn, then go through the event. It’s definitely something we’re going to continue moving forward.”

The fair also offered free thyroid and carotid artery scans provided by Sono­vision, which services the Hillsboro and Marion hospitals.

“They did 58 scans on Saturday,” Schroeder said. “They found eight abnormalities in those tests, so they will encourage those people to follow up with their medical professionals and get them a little more healthy.”

Another successful change was reducing the length of the fair from four hours to three.

“It wasn’t because we wanted to get in and out of their faster, we just thought it would help get people there with a little more sense of urgency,” Schroeder said.

“People would come in, get their stuff done, see what we had to offer—you don’t have to spend the whole day with us. I think that definitely worked out in a good way for us.”

Addison Edmundson, 3, of Marion, and 1-year-old sister Katelyn gets some hug time with Sparky the Fire Dog. Smoky Bear and Fred the Preparedness Dog attended the health fair, too.Schroeder said event sponsors are ready to give the health fair another go next year.

“We’re not making any money on this event–it’s a public service,” he said. “We want people to get healthy and feel better about themselves—and find out what is available here in Marion County and not have to drive out of town.”

Another change this year was moving the health fair from spring to fall. Schroe­der said the move was well received and it enabled the planning team to connect with the annual Marion County Toy Run that occurred later in the day. Organizers invited fair patrons to bring a toy to donate to children in Marion County.

“We gathered two boxes of toys to donate to the Toy Run—and it was a great thing to be able to do,” Schroeder said.

Written By
More from Don Ratzlaff
Office bullet hole credited to stray shot
USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble said law enforcement have concluded that a...
Read More