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2009 Health Fair Brings 35 Organizations

Lainey S. Cronk, May 21, 2009
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The 2009 health fair at PUC, titled "For the Health of It," sported outdoor and indoor booths and a hubbub of students and community members enjoying displays from 35 health-related programs and organizations. PUC's Health Services department is making this type of hands-on, community integrated health fair a college tradition, and it's very successful with visitors and vendors alike.

St. Helena Hospital offered a "Test Your Food IQ" game including questions (and displays) like "What is a serving size?" and "Can you guess which drink has the most caffeine?" St. Helena chiropractor Michael Cleaver showed a model of a spine to a student and talking about a fall the student had taken on his back. Two representatives from Napa Valley Aromatherapy were back again this year, enjoying the lunches PUC provided for the representatives and talking about how great it was to be here. One offered a taste of a sweet, light drink made with water infused with oranges, strawberries, and mint from her garden. "We're trying to tell the kids they shouldn't be drinking all this chemical stuff," she said. "It's important to give them the basics." She added, "It's fun to watch the kids' reactions!"

Massage therapist Carrie Schaefer had a schedule of students she was giving massages, and the Mary Kay representatives did about 75 free facials for women. St. Helena Cyclery, the sexual assault victim services, the Angwin Market, and the Sheriff Department were just a sampling of the many faces present. Volunteerism was a new and popular element of the Health Fair, with representatives from the Teen Center, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and the Boys and Girls Club thrilled at how many college students signed up to volunteer with their programs. The Teen Center alone signed up 32 students interested in volunteering.

The community was also a huge supporter through the donation of door prizes. Sixty-five were given away, ranging from a dinner for two at a Napa Valley restaurant to prizes from the Napa Soap Company and the College Bookstore.

Sandy Sargent, director of PUC's Health Services and the coordinator of the Health Fair, says they'll continue this project annually, and Sargent's vision is to see it grow even bigger and include more community. "We were so exhausted, but it was fun!" she reported after this year's fair. Two students helped with organization as part of their BSN management rotation, and individuals and departments around campus also helped make the fair happen.

The best compliment she received, Sargent says, was from one of the Mary Kay representatives, who told Sargent this was "one of the most fun things she ever went to," and that this wonderful event seemed effortless, even though she knew how much work went into it.