Hospital Provides Free Services at Health & Fitness Fair

March 12, 2018

Over 4,000 people attended the Ruby Radio Health & Fitness Fair held at the Elko Convention Center on Saturday, March 10th. As the master sponsor of the event, Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital provided a number of free services to attendees.

680 people participated in the free blood draw organized by the Laboratory at NNRH, an increase from 450 last year. Marla Asson, director of the hospital lab, said she was encouraged to see more participation because there is important health information to be gleaned from blood work.

“The blood draw includes a comprehensive metabolic panel, a full lipid panel, a thyroid screening, and a hemoglobin diabetes screening,” Asson explained. “These tests can provide a snapshot of an individual’s overall health. They’re not meant to diagnose anything, but they are meant to start a conversation between a patient and their doctor.”

Asson explained that participants would receive their results by mail and that their blood chemistry values would be flagged if they were considered outside of healthy ranges.

“If just one person gets their results, notices that something is critically high, and then calls their doctor to make an appointment, then all of this will be worth it,” Asson said. “We do follow up with patients who have critical values and strongly encourage them to see their primary care physician. Sometimes blood work can be a wake-up call before a disease progresses too far.”

In addition to the annual blood draw, the hospital also sponsored a “Healthy Habits Kids Zone” at the event. This was a new area presented in partnership with the nursing program at Great Basin College. At each of eight stations, children learned a different healthy habit and received an item to take home to put that habit into practice. Staff members from NNRH teamed up with nursing students from GBC to present the information and lead the activities.

Sue Herrman, an executive assistant at the hospital, led the station entitled “Exercise Every Day”.

“We’re encouraging the kids to get out and get moving for at least 60 minutes each day,” Herrman said. “So we’re giving them jump ropes to remind them how important exercise is.”

Herrman also led participants in a jump rope challenge to see who could jump for the longest time. “It’s been pretty tiring,” she said of jumping rope with so many children. “But it’s been very fun and very rewarding.”

Elsewhere at the Health and Fitness Fair, NNRH partnered with medical supplier BARD to provide free screenings for peripheral arterial disease. The hospital also held a free raffle for a mountain bike which was purchased from Bristlecone Bikes.

At the end of the day, hospital director of community relations Steve Burrows said that he thought the Health & Fitness Fair had been a great success.

“This is always such a fun and educational event,” Burrows said. “We understand that not everyone wants to come to the hospital. So this is a day when we bring the hospital to you.”