The 2012 Nolan County Health Fair was in full-swing on Thursday, November 8 at the TSTC (Texas State Technical College) Fitness Center, located on the Sweetwater campus.
Vendors from Sweetwater, Nolan County and the surrounding areas were able to present their booths to attendees, who could visit their stations to learn about various companies and programs while walking away with free items as well.
Among those with booths was the TSTC Nursing Department. Their booth was primarily directed to Alzheimer's awareness, with informative sheets that cite warning signs of the disease.
In addition, a self-test on cognitive function was available, along with samples of "brain food" like mixed nuts and mixed berries. BMI (body mass index) tests could also be done at the TSTC Nursing booth.
Manning the booth at the time were nursing students Lisa Redman, Alesha Ford and Laurie Robinson. Even though they were able to obtain an extra credit grade for working at the Health Fair, they all saw the event as beneficial for everyone in the building.
"This is nice for the community," said Redman. "The Health Fair helps people get tested who normally wouldn't because of their health insurance."
The three nursing students also agreed that the event is helpful to them as well and other health care professionals. With a variety of free screenings offered, Redman added that sometimes those in the medical field tend to forget to keep their own health in check.
Other free screenings available at the Health Fair included temperature, pulse, pulse oxygen, blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, PSA (prostate-specific antigen), ECG (electrocardiogram) and rapid HIV testing.
Those offering the screenings included Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) as well as the Big Country Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). The Meek Blood Mobile was also on site for attendees to make blood donations.
In addition, the businesses at the Health Fair hoped that their services would let the community know what they have to offer. Kerry Baker with Hendrick Medical Supply said that he hoped his booth would make people aware of the medical equipment available at his store.
"We want people to know how to use the equipment in their homes in order to make it a safer and more comfortable place," Baker explained.
But other vendors--who might not offer something physical--desired to make an emotional investment, like Javier Franco from Sky High Children's Ranch.
"We hope the community knows there are organizations that can help them--with kids and at-risk youth--and that we can offer them preventive information at a free event."
Over forty vendors took part in the 2012 Health Fair. They were Abilene Eye Institute, Ahhh...Pain Relief, American Cancer Society, Big Country AIDS Resources, Bowtech for Health, Cogdell Memorial Hospital, Deaf Action Center, DSHS, Food Bank of West Central Texas, Gateway Family Services, Inc., Genesis Pure, Headstart, Hendrick Cancer Center/First Choice, Hendrick Hospice Care/Hendrick Health System, Hendrick Medical Supply, High Sky Childrenâ€™s Ranch, Hoyt House, IntegraCare HH of Colorado City, Juice Plus+/Tower Garden, KXOX, Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home, MADD, Mary Kay, Meek Blood Center, Molina HealthCare, Nolan County Health Dept., Nolan County Health Dept-Family Planning, Nolan Nursing Rehabilitation Center, OHS-WIC, Richard Fergeson State Farm, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Rolling Plains Rural Health, Superior Health Plan, Sweetwater Fire Department, Sweetwater HCC, Sweetwater Spine Clinic, Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Dept., Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texas Oncology, Texas Sport & Spine, The Fitness Center, TSTC Counseling, Vet Center VA, VN Students TSTC Sweetwater, West Central Texas Council of Governments, Regional 9-1-1 Program, West Texas AHEC - Big Country Region and the West Texas Childrenâ€™s Advocacy Center.