“Spring into Good Health”
By: Cheryl Thurston
The Round Branch Baptist Church in Bladenboro held their annual Health Fair on Saturday, March 14. The theme was Spring into Good Health, emphasizing the importance of good daily health habits as the new spring season begins.
The pastor, Rev. Victor Singletary, Liaison Elizabeth Christian, and the Round Branch Baptist Church family, offered a Blood Pressure and Glucose testing clinic, and healthy lunch, free to the public. The keynote speaker was WECT’s Meteorologist Eric Davis, who spoke on Hurricane Preparedness. Also on hand were representatives from several area health agencies, offering advice, and information about the many services that are available to residents of Bladen County.
Eric Davis gave an enlightening address about the importance of awareness as hurricane season will begin on June 1. “Many people think that since Bladen is an inland county that it is safe from the threat of hurricane damage, though that is simply not true,” said Davis. “Several times in the last 65 years hurricanes have caused major damage to inland communities, through flooding, wind, and associated tornadoes.” Davis urges everyone to inform themselves to the dangers as the hurricane season begins.
Bladen County 911 representative, Alisha Evans spoke about the help offered through the 911 services, such as Reverse 911, wherein you can register your phone number with the service, and receive a phone call from 911 in the event of a weather(or other) emergency. Bladen County E 9-1-1 offers refrigerator magnets with non-emergency numbers, and 2015 calendars. For more information, visit their website at: www.bladeninfo.org
The Bladen County Health Department representative, Britt Huggins offered information about the Young Families Connect program that is sponsored through a grant by Adolescent Health, for young parents between the ages of 13-24. This program operates Parenting Workshops, Health and Wellness Workshops, Domestic Violence Prevention Workshops, Child Care Assistance, Employment Building Workshops, Tuition Assistance, High School Equivalency and Adult Diploma programs, and some transportation. Contact them directly for more information by calling (910) 872-6244 or (910) 872-6263 or by email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Blood Pressure and Glucose testing clinic was administered by Vernia Gilbert and Michelle Blair. “You want to make sure your Blood Pressure is not too high or too low,” said Gilbert. “Knowing your risk for heart attack and stroke is important.” Blair cautioned about the risk of coma from improper glucose levels. “Know the symptoms. If you can’t quench your thirst, if you are inexplicably tired or cranky, get your glucose checked,” said Blair “Many people don’t know they are diabetic.”
Cape Fear Valley Bladen Healthcare was joined by Jenny Hair and Jennifer Melvin, from BCC, to offer “hands-on” CPR instruction to anyone unfamiliar with the emergency medical procedure. “This CPR technique can save a life,” said Hair. “You never know when you are out somewhere if someone will have a stroke or heart attack, and fall out in front of you, but if you know CPR you can administer emergency assistance.” She recommends that everyone from teenagers on up should learn CPR.
Debra Jones was the representative from the Bladen County Department of Social Services, who spoke about the many programs offered to county residents, such as: the CIP(Crisis Intervention Program) and LIEAP(Low Income Energy Assistance Program), which help citizens with home heating; Medicaid for families with children, seniors, the disabled, the blind, and pregnant women. There are Food & Nutrition, TANF, and SNAP programs for those with Low/No Income. The DSS offers Child & Adult Protective Services, Foster & Adoption programs and Work First. For more information, contact the Bladen County Department of Social Services, 208 E McKay St, Elizabethtown, NC28337 (910) 862-6800.
The annual event is sponsored by the Medicine Shop, Cape Fear Valley Medical, Bladen County Social Services, Bladen County Health Department, Bladen County 911, and Subway.