A Nutritious Food Cooking Contest and Teddy Bear Hospital for kids are among the offerings at this year’s Haines Health Fair, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Haines School lobby and cafeteria.
With escalating health care costs, the fair offers screenings and health education that can help people avoid costly crises, organizers say.
“We’ve got great deals on blood draws. Our theme this year is ‘Home Town, Home Healthy,’ so there will be a lot of people from Haines making presentations,” said Pam Sloper, patient care coordinator at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), one of the event’s sponsors.
Now in its 16th year in Haines, the fair will include information about general health, assessment and referral, along with free screenings for height, weight, blood pressure and vision.
Comprehensive blood profile testing will be available for $45. Other tests available will include prostate screening (important for men over age 50) for $25; thyroid-stimulating hormone testing, $30; Vitamin D testing, $50; A1C testing, $25; and blood typing, $20.
In the healthy cooking contest, entrants are encouraged to bring in a health food dish (entrée, side dish, salad or dessert) that will be judged on its “good health quality.” Prizes will be awarded in each category, as well as for most attractive and most nutritious ingredients. Entries will be accepted until 9 a.m. and winners will be announced at 11 a.m.
Children are encouraged to bring stuffed animals to the Teddy Bear Hospital, where they can learn about health and wellness. A program at 11 a.m. called “Ask an RD” will allow attendees to ask a registered dietician nutrition questions.
Exhibits or information tables will include SEARHC Dental, Southeast Alaska Independent Living, REACH Infant Learning, SEARHC Alcohol Awareness, colon cancer awareness, nutrition, herbal healing, parenting, domestic violence awareness, indoor plants and air quality, Haines Ambulance Crew, Takshanuk Watershed Council, Friends of Recycling, SEARHC Diabetes Awareness and Haines Chamber of Commerce.
Blood screening participants should not eat or drink anything but water for 12 hours previous to screening.
The health fair comes at the end of National Public Health Week, according to Haines public health nurse Ty Esposito.
“Challenging people to make simple changes, like getting immunizations on time, washing hands often, staying home when sick and attending health fairs are some of the ways to encourage people to keep their community healthy,” Esposito said.
Recent public health issues in Haines included paralytic shellfish poisoning, some cases of whooping cough in town last year and a Norovirus outbreak last summer, Esposito said.
For more information about the health fair, contact Haines Public Health at 766-3300 or SEARHC Wisewoman at 766-6367.