Health fair educates community on healthy habits

Loryn Kykendall

Basic knowledge about diabetes, kidney and oral health might seem like common sense to some—but it’s not. 

And while brushing your teeth can seem like just a boring task, it’s more important than you might think.

To give the public basic information about their health, the Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International hosted their annual health fair, “Spring into Health,” last Saturday.

Christian Jones, the president of CPFI, said this event is meant to help the public be more educated about their health.

The students provided diabetes and osteoporosis screenings and explained to people what their results meant.

Participating departments included nursing, medical lab science, dental hygiene, pre-health, pharmacy and occupational therapy.

Ashley Barbo, an assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy, is the faculty advisor for CPFI. She’s participated in the health fair for two years and loves serving the community.

“We want our community to be healthy,” Barbo said. ”And in order to do that there’s some things that we need to educate them on—making healthy choices, living a healthy lifestyle.”

Angelle Bonin, a first year pharmacy student, educated attendees on the importance of vaccines.

Alicia Degen

Bonin said that because of the COVID vaccine and the growing anti-vax movement, there’s a lot of misinformation going around about vaccines.

“It’s really important that people know how efficacious and safe vaccines are,” Bonin said.

Meg Hamilton, a doctoral pharmacy student, taught kids and adults alike about the dangers of alcoholism.

“Alcoholism affects a lot more people than you think it does,” Hamilton said.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 15 million people 12 and older in the U.S. struggle with an addiction to alcohol.

While students gave out informational handouts and with facts, statistics and tips, they also used activities to help children understand.

To teach kids about the effects of drinking alcohol, students had them put their head on the end of a bat, with the other end on the ground, and spin.

They also had a beach ball with facts about alcoholism written on it. Kids threw the ball around and read whichever facts their hands landed on.

Students from Kitty DeGree School of Nursing used their expertise to teach people about diabetes.

Zorria Williams, a senior nursing student, said it’s possible for people to be diabetic and not know, which is why it’s  important people get screened and know what symptoms to look out for.

“People may have symptoms or a family history [of diabetes] and not even know what diabetes is,” Williams said.

According to the CDC, symptoms of diabetes include numbness or tingling in the hands and feet and frequent urination, among others.

Dental hygiene students also went to the health fair to teach people about the importance of oral health.

Alicia Degen, a senior dental hygiene student, emphasized the significance of mouth pH levels, as it determines the risk for cavities.

The students displayed a board with different types of drinks and how their pH level can affect your health.

“There are a lot of waters people may think are healthy but in reality, it’s not healthy for your mouth,” Degen said.