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Hospital Health Fair raises awareness for residents

Thursday, May 21, 2009

by Sandra Gubel, The Sanders County Ledger

Many aspects of health were explored at Friday and Saturday's annual Health Fair at Clark Fork Valley Hospital. The event has been held during National Hospital week the last two years and promotes health and wellness in the county, said event coordinator Tonya Revier.

"The fair is also a chance to raise awareness of available health services provided by the hospital and local community organizations. The hospital is continually growing and we want everyone to know what we have to offer," Revier explained.

On display in the operating room for everyone to see was a mobile "C-Arm," recently donated by the Clark Fork Valley Hospital Foundation. The state-of-the-art imaging equipment is designed for surgical and interventional procedures requiring fluoroscopic imaging. The equipment will be helpful in a variety of procedures including Pacemaker Placement surgery. The procedure is planned to begin this summer, in coordination with Wildhorse General Surgery.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment was demonstrated at the fair. CPAP services help patients who are suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea.

Many residents took advantage of the reduced rate screenings. "They seemed to be of high interest among community members," noted Revier. Screenings offered included Anemia and Infection Screen, Diabetes Screen, Male Prostate Screen, Thyroid Function Screen, Lipid Panel (Cholesterol) and the Comprehensive Metabolic Panel.

Other hits included activities for kids like "Gummy Worm Surgery" in the OR, helicopter and ambulance tours, and face painting by Sanders County Coalition For Families.

Tony Pierini, RN, helped children "perform" a simulated laparoscopic surgery, where the would-be surgeons worked to recover gummy worms from the abdomen of a mannequin.

In addition to a myriad of free health information, the fair also featured free car seat checks, blood pressure checks, BMI (Body Mass Index) checks and Overnight Oximetry Testing.

"We had a good turnout this year. A lot of people are making health prevention a priority which is great to see," said Revier.

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