Health Fair bigger and better this year

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Health vendors of all kinds will gather in Sweet Home Saturday to promote healthy living among Sweet Home residents at the fourth annual community Health Fair.

“We’re maxed out this year in the Activity Gym,” said volunteer organizer Bob Dalton. The Health Fair will be held inside the Sweet Home High School Activity Gym, 1641 Long St.

It kicks off at 9 a.m. with a free running/walking event and continues through 2 p.m.

With many new vendors, the event has never had so much, Dalton said, “which is exciting – probably a good 10 more tables than last year. It really has grown in terms of the number of vendors.”

Among the new vendors are those dealing with child abuse and mental health, Dalton said. Samaritan Health Services will bring its new mobile medical unit for display purposes. A new mobile unit will be on site with pregnancy and HIV testing.

Vendors at the event will offer free screenings for various health issues, and they’ll offer information about health-related topics. Samaritan Health Services will offer several tables covering things like physical therapy and diabetes.

The Western University of Health Sciences will bring its mini-medical school to the event for children, who will get to interact with medical students as they explore the human body. Students at the Lebanon medical school often bring the mini-medical schools to local elementary schools.

Other vendors include assisted living facilities, nutrition, Public Works, Evergreen Hospice and Linn County Drug and Alcohol. Financial groups and the Linn-Benton Housing Authority will be on hand to talk about affordable housing options.

Free hot dogs and seating will be available outside the gym, Dalton said.

“The purpose is to expose our community to services they may not know exist,” Dalton said.

“The bottom line is to make our community healthier.”

Steelhead Fitness is sponsoring a running and walking event to kick off the event at 9 a.m.

Dave Bauer, owner of Steelhead Fitness, said no registration is needed. Participants should show up before 9 a.m. on the high school side of Weddle Bridge. The event includes a 1.5-mile route and a 3.5-mile route.

“The health fair is just to bring resources to the community,” Bauer said. “It’s all about promoting health in our community.”

Steelhead Fitness and exercise are a part of that, he said, so the event is a good way to kick off the health fair.

Bauer said volunteers for the run are still needed.

Anyone interested in volunteering or needing more information may contact him at (541) 367-1904.