By Stephanie Rush, Pacific Regional Medical Command Public AffairsJune 28, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- In an effort to educate Soldiers and their families on the importance of staying healthy, Army Public Health Nursing held a health fair at the Kalakaua Community Center, June 14, here.
"It's important to have educational health fairs because people want to be healthy, they just may be unsure where to start," explained Rosalind Griffin, a registered nurse with Army Public Health Nursing-Schofield Barracks and the health fair's coordinator. "By bringing the information to the people, in a comfortable setting, they are more receptive to what you have to say and the impact that information has on their life."
APHN nurses were on hand to teach the nearly 100 attendees about heart disease and the role that blood pressure plays in it and the importance of healthy living.
"It really is a pleasure to be able to go out into the community and impact the lives of all of our beneficiaries; to help them live better, longer and more fulfilled lives," Rosalind said. "Our mission is to decrease the burden of disease and having health fairs and getting information to the people that need it helps ensure the success of that mission."
Other community organizations joined APHN to educate the public on health concerns and healthy living.
The Federal Fire Department had emergency responders on hand to provide tours of an ambulance and fire truck, and demonstrate how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
Island Palm Communities, the Army's on-post housing partner in Hawaii, talked to attendees about the importance of sun safety and handed out sunglasses with built in UV protection.
Naval Health Clinic Hawaii's Health Promotion mobile "Wellness on Wheels" van was on site to provide information on healthy lifestyles, tobacco cessation and metabolic testing.
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Army Substance Abuse Program utilized trivia games and its "Wheel of Misfortune" to education attendees on the dangers of substance abuse and explain how the self-referral program works.
Ulanda Diaz, who lives on post, found out about the health fair because Island Palm Communities mentioned the event on their Facebook page. Events held at the community centers give her family activities to do close to home while her husband is deployed, but she had an ulterior motive for making sure her children attended the health fair.
"My daughter wants to be a vet, but I'm trying to sway her to be a nurse instead," said Ulanda, who is a licensed practical nurse herself. "The fair was a great way to show her other areas of the health field."
APHN plans to continue hosting a large-scale heath fair each year, with the next one combined with the Family Fun Fitness Festival, which is sponsored by the Defense Commissary Agency.
"The one thing that I hope people take away from the health fair is the fact that knowledge is power and that they alone hold the key to their wellness," Rosalind said. "I can provide the information, but it is important that they use it to their advantage."