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Health fair: Growing, growing, growing

Hospital news | Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Contact: Thomas Hottman

The 17th Annual Living Well Community Health Fair, hosted by Sky Lakes Medical Center, is planned for March 7. The health fair started as a way for the hospital staff to share their health expertise with the community, and to promote the philosophy of health advocacy instead of "sick care," said Sky Lakes public relations and marketing director Tom Hottman.

When the fair first started, it was at the Community Health Education Center, and attracted only a few hundred people, with just informational displays, Hottman said. It later outgrew the education center and moved to the gym at Hosanna Christian School, and last year, moved to the Klamath County Fairgrounds. "It has grown, and grown, and grown," Hottman said.

Kathy Mahaffey, Sky Lakes public relations and marketing coordinator, who is planning the event, said this year she's hoping for about 2,500 attendees.

The event will include the always popular total cholesterol blood glucose testing, lung function testing, and interactive information from other vendors to help community members learn more about their health, Hottman said.

New this year, attendees will have the opportunity to explore an Air Link helicopter vehicle, Mahaffey said. "I'm really excited about that," she said.

A variety of vendors

Other vendors at the event include the American Red Cross, which will show off an emergency vehicle, students from the Oregon Institute of Technology dental hygiene program, as well as other Oregon Tech and Oregon Health and Science University students, the Southern Oregon Meth Project, the Klamath Trails Alliance, which will share information about local trails and the work that goes into them, and Commute Options, sharing information about biking to work.

Medical staff from the Sky Lakes Adult Medicine Clinic and Sky Lakes Family Medicine Clinic will be on hand to interpret cholesterol, glucose, and lung function test results for attendees as well, Mahaffey said.

Healthcare professionals from the Sky Lakes Family Birth Center will be giving away a child's safety seat, and this year there will be a private area for lactating mothers, and a baby diaper-changing area.

The event also will include a Kids Zone, with fun, interactive information sharing about dental health, a display of anatomical specimens from Sky Lakes Histology, and more, along with free gifts, like footballs, jump ropes and hula hoops, to encourage children to "get up, get moving, and get involved," Mahaffey added.

Opportunity to learn

The interactive aspects of the health fair are important, Hottman said — it's more than just handing out flyers, and allows both the health professional and community members to learn more. "It's a lot of work but it's also a lot of fun," he said, adding that over the years, many like-minded health groups have joined in the event. The 17th Annual Living Well Community Health Fair will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Klamath County Fairgrounds. An eight-hour fast is recommended for the blood glucose and cholesterol tests. For more information, visit the Sky Lakes website at