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Public health fair draws hundreds

Posted: March 9, 2013 3:30 p.m.
Updated: March 9, 2013 3:30 p.m.

Close to 300 community members were weighed, measured and screened at the Jo Anne Darcy Library on Saturday during the Canyon Country Community Health Fair.

The fair, a joint venture of the city of Santa Clarita and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, ran from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and offered basic health screenings to read blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels.

Volunteers and pamphlets were also on hand to provide attendees with basic advice on how to eat and live healthier.

“American society is really a food-toxic one,” said Brianna Beels, a student in the College of the Canyons nursing program who volunteered at the event. “It’s so easy to go out and grab a Coke or a Snickers bar.”

Because of the availability of non-nutritious foods, education about proper diet is all the more important, Beels said.
“Events like these let people learn about ways they can help themselves,” Beels said. “And it’s nicer to do it here than to have to go to a doctor’s office.”

Keeping people out of the doctor’s office is actually one of the primary motivations for community health fairs, said Bhavna Mistry, a marketing specialist with Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

“It’s always better to be proactive and identify any issues before they become real health problems,” Mistry said.

Mistry said one of the better ways to do that is to get out in the community and let people know what kind of services are available locally.

Along with health screenings and materials, the event featured representatives and materials from some community wellness organizations such as the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, Action Family Counseling, the Fair Housing Council and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Saturday’s event was held in Canyon Country partly as an outreach to the area, particularly the areas of Fair Oaks Ranch and Jakes Way that were annexed into the city in September, said Susie Cordova, a city human services coordinator.

Cordova said about 270 people had shown up during the first two hours of the three-hour event and, with the high turnout, the city was considering putting the event on next year’s calendar, as well.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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