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Health fair educates in South Point

South Point Superintendent Ken Cook has a pulse oximeter test performed during the AARP Health Fair. THE TRIBUNE/JESSICA ST. JAMES

SOUTH POINT — Bill and Nancy Hampton, of South Point, went to the health fair on a mission to get flu shots, but came away with much more. Education, test results and some free stuff.

The Lawrence County AARP Chapter 5029 hosted the health fair Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the old South Point High School building. This is the 10th year in a row for the fair.

There were 112 providers at the fair, from places like area hospitals, home health care services, medical supply companies, insurance providers and many more. There were 227 registered at the door, but the number of those taking advantage of the health fair was much larger, as many of the providers also visited other booths at the fair.

Some of the services offered include cholesterol testing, blood sugar testing, lung function tests, breast education, blood pressure testing, bone density testing, glaucoma screening, vision and hearing testing and flu shots.

The Hamptons appreciated the blood work especially. Bill Hampton’s blood work and cholesterol came back great, and while Nancy Hampton said she was surprised because of his past high cholesterol levels, Bill Hampton wasn’t.

“It didn’t surprise me,” he laughed. “It pays to live right.”

“He’s eaten every piece of candy in here,” Nancy Hampton said, shaking her head.

Free merchandise, from the candy to cups and magnets, was a big crowd pleaser. Kahassai Tafese of Molina Healthcare said their table had a good crowd and he was pretty sure their free items were part of it.

“We have a very popular item – the backscratcher,” he said. “I made sure to have enough.”

Kristin Young of Kelley Med Care was giving out apples and raffled off a neck massager, but also shared with health fair participants the kind of medical equipment the company has to offer.

Lou Ann Waldron, RN, of St. Mary’s Medical Center, said opportunities like this are important for the hospital.

“That’s part of our mission at the hospital to offer education and preventative medicine for the community,” Waldron said. “All of those services are offered at no charge.”

Waldron said the lab work is always the most popular, but the glaucoma screening and stroke risk assessment drew a large crowd as well.

Sandy Turvey and Ronda Primm, representatives of the nursing home waiver unit of the Department of Job and Family Services, were available for information on government healthcare changes, as well as services available for the elderly.

Turvey said there is a lot of misinformation on the kinds of services available and who qualifies for them, and they were hoping to clear some of that up.

“I think this is needed,” Turvey said. “When we came in at 9 a.m. to get ready, people were already lined up outside the door.”

Kate Boykin, of Ironton, said she came to get services that she knew she needed. She had her cholesterol checked because it had been some time since her doctor had last checked it, and she was pleased with the results.

“They said it was the best they’ve seen,” she said.

Kathy Moore, Lawrence County AARP chairwoman, was very pleased with the health fair’s turnout.

“It’s been very, very impressive,” she said.