By Rachel Ponder, APG NewsOctober 6, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - More than 200 people attended the first health fair hosted by the Community Health Promotion Council and Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic at the APG South
(Edgewood) recreation center Sept. 21.
The event featured demonstrations from 28 organizations. Highlights included free flu shots for Soldiers and DoD civilians, mini messages, health screenings, presentations from motivational
speakers and giveaways.
Sunaina Singh, a Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic Community Health nurse who helped plan the fair, said the event emphasized holistic health. This approach emphasizes that the mind body and spirit are connected. Keynote speaker Izzy Gesell addressed the holistic approach in his lecture "The DNA of Resiliency: Managing Stress & Change through Humor."
Guests discussed and learned more about topics like asthma, depression, tobacco cessation, physical fitness and osteoporosis and took advantage of available health screenings for bone density, vision, body fat analysis and skin cancer.
In addition, representatives from the Army Substance Abuse Program and Morale, Welfare and Recreation were on hand to provide more information about available health and fitness programs and services offered at APG.
Attendees said that they appreciated the diversity of health topics presented at the event.
"I am a new government employee and I am impressed that I could get health screenings and so much information on post during my lunch break," said Hennifer Cole, an Edgewood Chemical
Biological Center employee. "It makes me feel like APG cares about the wellness of their employees."
Wendy LaRouche, a U.S. Army Public Health Command Health Promotions Outcomes Researcher, said one of the goals of the event was to encourage attendees to take a proactive approach with their health. One way was to provide health screenings on post so that they are more accessible to those that live and work on APG.
"We want to encourage early detection," LaRouche said. "People shouldn't wait until they are sick to focus on their health."
Singh said that she felt that visual and hands-on demonstrations provided by vendors made a big impact.
"A health fair should inspire people to make positive changes," Singh said. "For instance, during the health fair I spent some time talking to a nutrition consultant who used plastic food to show
correct portion sizes. That was eyeopening because it showed me that my portion sizes are too big. That demonstration made me think about modifying my diet so that I am eating the right amount of food."
The next health fair will be held at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center in the spring.
The fair is free, confidential and open to all," LaRoche said. Tenant organizations interested in
participating in the Community Health Promotion Council health fair should contact LaRoche at
Read more about the health fair in the online edition of the APG News, http://www.apgnews. apg.army.mil/. For more photos, visit www.flickr.com/photos/usagapg/.