“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”    –Benjamin Franklin 10-29-14-ftcc-health-fair.gif

While staying healthy is not always easy, it is always the right thing to do. On Nov. 5 and 6, Fayetteville Technical Community College will host Harvest Your Health, a health fair dedicated to preventive health care. It is not just for FTCC students. The entire community is invited to attend.

Susan Ellis, FTCC dean of health programs is one of the event organizers and she is excited about bringing the community together for such a good cause. “This is the third time we have done this, at least in recent years,” she said. In fact, the turnout is nothing to sneeze at. “We had several hundred people come through last year.”

A new feature this year is the drunk driving simulator that is sponsored by the FTCC Student Government Association. “It is a great tool. People can sit in the simulator and see what it is like to drive while impaired. It is to prevent unsafe driving practices and tell people about their choices,” said Ellis.

Some of the free health services available are: blood pressure screening, blood sugar screening, cholesterol screening and counseling, dental health education, family planning, fitness assessments, flu shots, healthy eating (free samples), HIV testing, know your number counseling, mental health screening, resources for the uninsured, smoking cessation and substance abuse.

Participants will receive a card when they come in to the health fair and as they visit each booth they can record their information. Many of the booths have giveaways as well as useful information for the public. One of the biggest benefits said Ellis, is that there are resources for people who get screened and find that they may need follow-up care. “People are always surprised and appreciative of the affordable resource here. I suspect one of the most surprising things people find is that there are affordable and often free resources to help them with health-related issues. Finding out you have high blood pressure or blood sugar can be surprising because there aren’t really any symptoms. A lot of people think ‘If I don’t check it, it is not happening.’ This is an opportunity for people to find out what their numbers are and do something about them.”

Some of the organizations that are participating are FTCC, Southern Regional Area Health Education Center, Better Health, Walgreen’s, Cumberland County Health Department, Cumberland Health Net and Alliance Behavior Health.

This is also a great experience for FTCC students not just as visitors, but as resources, too. There are many students from the different health-related programs doing their part to help with screenings and passing out information.

Look for representatives from the respiratory therapy, smoking cessation, dental health and nursing programs.

“This gives students an opportunity to learn about the value of community involvement,” said Ellis. “It also gives them a chance to work on things like communication skills.”

Harvest Your Health runs Nov. 5, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Horace Sisk Gymnasium on the FTCC campus. For more information, call 678-8372 or email elliss@faytechcc.edu.

Photo: Preventive healthcare can help save money and lives. Don’t miss the free screenings at FTCC on Nov. 5-6.

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