February 2, 2013 8:49:43 PM
The Department of Health and Kinesiology at Mississippi University for Women and the City of Columbus have partnered to present a free community health fair Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Pohl Gymnasium.
The Columbus City Council recently voted unanimously to proclaim Feb. 13 Community Health Day. This year's theme is "Healthy You, Healthy Me: A Lifetime Commitment!"
"We are elated to have the opportunity to partner with the City of Columbus," said Tamica Patton, graduate assistant in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, who is coordinating the event. "It is an awesome feeling to know our community leaders are willing to assist us in our effort to promote and encourage a community-wide commitment to healthy lifestyles."
Promoting healthier lifestyles is a subject close to Patton's heart, who is seeking a master of science in health education.
"Despite microbiology being my first love, after losing a grandfather, two grandmothers-in-law, an aunt and an uncle to chronic or preventable illnesses, I became curious as to the common factors in these deaths," she said. "Each one of these very important persons in my life had some form of cancer. Although one case was due to genetics, I learned the other cases were due to lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and obesity which ignited a desire in me to encourage my family, friends and others to make lifestyle changes to have a healthier, longer life."
More than 75 booths are registered to participate in this year's event. Many of the vendors including Baptist Memorial Hospital and the North Mississippi Health System will provide health screenings such as blood pressure, hearing, visual acuity and others free of charge. Cholesterol and prostate screenings also will be available for a small fee. Participants must fast six hours prior to having the cholesterol screening.
"Ultimately, I would like participants to leave the health fair with a greater awareness of their overall health and the many resources that are available to assist them locally, regionally and nationally."
For more information, call Bonnie Chaltry or Tamica Patton at 662-329-7225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.