Over 4,000 Attend Health & Fitness Fair
March 15, 2017
Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital provided a free blood draw and lab work at the Health and Fitness Fair on Saturday, March 11. Over 4,000 people attended the annual event held at the Elko Convention Center, and nearly 500 participated in the blood draw.
“This is the first year that we’ve offered the blood draw at the Convention Center, so it was a challenge working out some of the logistics,” said Steve Burrows, Director of Community Relations at NNRH. “However, we know that for some folks, this is the only health screening they’ll receive all year. Instead of asking you to come to the hospital, we figured we’d bring the hospital to you.”
In addition to free lab work, the hospital offered free blood pressure checks and an ankle-brachial index (ABI) screening for peripheral arterial disease. Jennifer Koopman, NNRH Director of Physician Relations and Industry, oversaw the ABI station at the health fair which was staffed by student nurses from Great Basin College.
“It was a pleasure working with the GBC nursing students and their instructors, all of whom volunteered their time,” said Koopman. “I am extremely grateful for their recognition of the importance of volunteer service and community health, and for all their hard work to make the screenings a success.”
Rick Palagi, CEO at NNRH, said he was impressed with the number of people attending the fair. “It’s encouraging to see so many people taking their Saturday to learn more about healthy living,” Palagi said. “We have six doctors here today, and they’ve been answering questions and visiting with people non-stop. Our mission at NNRH is to make communities healthier, so we are more than happy to be a part of something like this.”
Several other clinics and organizations also offered free screenings to the public. Dr. Fred Fricke measured attendees’ body-mass index (BMI) and provided education on combatting obesity. Troy Eden, a Certified Physician Assistant from Eden Medical Clinic, screened participants for plaque in the carotid arteries, a condition which can be a precursor to stroke. One of the most visually striking exhibits was a 30 foot inflatable colon which was sponsored by the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. Attendees could stroll through the colon while learning the warning signs for colorectal cancer.
The Health and Fitness Fair is sponsored each year by Ruby Radio Corporation. This year’s event included nearly eighty exhibitors from Nevada, Utah and Idaho. For the first time, the event expanded to fill both the Convention Center and the newer Conference Center building.