The second annual Care Fair, a comprehensive offering of information, services and programs on everything care and health related, and medical experts to provide insight and analysis, will once again be sponsored by the Sampson Regional Medical Center, along with a host of others to coincide with the annual Court Square Street Fair Oct. 13.
Like the street fair, the Care Fair will be bigger and better, with booths covering a wide range of health, medical, fitness and dietary topics that will allow for a one-stop wealth of information. The event, scheduled from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, will be held at the Center for Health and Wellness.
The response from last year’s inaugural Care Fair was extremely positive, and hospital officials wanted to build upon that.
“It was our response to meet a need in the community,” said Amber Cava, vice president of marketing and community relations for Sampson Regional Medical Center. “The reason we don’t call it a care fair and not a health fair is it’s more than a health fair. It allows people to touch things, feel things and see demonstrations.”
She said there are often many requests for SRMC to provide services or demonstrations at civic, church or community organizations. All of those requests cannot be met, but the hospital plans to use the Care Fair as a way to cull together not only the hospital’s resources, but the assistance of health professionals in the community, in reaching out to the local population.
“Being a health care leader in the community, we felt the responsibility to pull together all our resources in one place, even if it is only one day a year,” said Cava. “We thought it would be a great thing to be able to offer these resources to the public and doing it during a time when people are already coming to town. We received such a good response from people last year. It’s a good opportunity to take all these resources out.
“We have all these different people at all these different booths, it allows people to cross-reference,” Cava said. “It all interrelates.”
The fair will coincide with the 26th annual Court Square Street Fair and 19th annual Barbecue Cook-Off, which will be held in the downtown and surrounding area. With the second annual Care Fair, that area will extend even further.
“Because our event is taking place the same day as the downtown Court Square Street Fair and Barbecue Cook-Off, we’re hoping people will consider stopping by the Care Fair,” Cava said. “This year we’ll be offering a shuttle service from downtown Clinton to The Center for Health and Wellness.”
Along with Sampson Regional Medical Center, other featured partners providing services at the event will be Carolina Urology Healthcare/Dr. Robert Reagan, Carolina Eye Care Professionals/Dr. Thomas Barowsky, Matthews Health Mart, Delaby Brace & Limb, Omega Sports, The Diabetes Bus Initiative, Clinton Fire Department, Sampson County Cooperative Extension Agency and the N.C. Soy Bean Association.
There will be health screenings for cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, as well as glaucoma and prostate screenings. Wellness and fitness stations will be offered, including Zumba, yoga, tai chi and line dancing, along with massage therapy and body fat percentage and weight checks.
“Last year we offered a half hour Zumba class, and that was a hit,” said Cava. “This year we’ll also offer tai chi and line dancing. These programs are offered free to the public on a regular basis at The Center for Health and Wellness. The Care Fair will be a great place for people to try out the classes, and it also teaches people that fitness can be fun. It’s a good way to get active and get moving. The programs they find at the Care Fair are ones they can expect to come back and find at the Wellness Center, whether they are members or not.”
The “Hips to Toes” booth will include physical therapy, orthopedic care, foot care and shoes, while women’s health booths will encompass bone density, breast health and prosthesis as well as OB-GYN Care.
A “Breathe Easy & Sleep Well” booth will provide information on cardiac and pulmonary rehab, respiratory care and sleep apnea, and “Keeping the Beat” will teach attendees about CPR, AEDs (Automatic Electronic Defibrillators) and becoming a blood donor.
“We’re excited this year to offer basic CPR and AED lessons. Although we can’t provide certifications for this learning, we do think it’s important to teach people the basic skills of providing CPR or using AEDs,” Cava stated. “You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you can save a life, and being armed with this knowledge can make people more comfortable in providing assistance until medical professionals arrive. Our certified experts will be at the Care Fair to provide basic instruction, answer questions, and introduce people to CPR and AEDs.”
“Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less,” is where people can learn about the program and get registered, and there will also be healthy food samples, taste tests, recipes and a dietitian on hand to talk people through their diets and offer tips.
There will be pharmacists and providers on hand to answer questions and provide analysis throughout, and diabetes and heart health stations will also be present.
In addition, the Clinton Fire Department will be on site with a fire engine.
“October is Fire Safety Month, so we’re glad they’ll be a part of our event, teaching people about fire safety,” said Cava. “We’ll also have a staff member of ours with the Clinton Fire Department to teach people how to use fire extinguishers.”
While the Care Fair is located on the medical mile on Lisbon Street, a good distance from the downtown, hospital officials are urging street fair attendees to make the trek. If they are unable, a shuttle will be offered.
“We’d like to encourage people to take a short walk from downtown via Fisher Drive to The Center for Health and Wellness,” Cava said. “It’s a great way to fit in a little aerobic activity and do healthy for yourself.”
For those unable to walk from downtown to the Center for Health and Wellness, SRMC has partnered with the Sampson Area Transportation to provide the shuttle. That shuttle will make trips back and forth from the downtown at 15 to 20 minute intervals, an effort to ensure everyone can enjoy both events.
While they are not sponsored by the hospital, two first-time local events promoting health and fitness are also on tap for Saturday, Oct. 13. The Downtown Dash 5k & Fun Run will start at 8:30 a.m. from the new Vance Street parking lot,. while registration for the a 10k Volksmarch will be open from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Main Street.
“Those are some opportunities in addition to the Care Fair, and we are very happy to encourage people to be a part of them,” Cava said. “We’re really trying to collaborate with the city of Clinton and make sure people have access to everything.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.