Once a year, for more than a decade, Carle Richland Memorial Hospital (CRMH) has paired up with Olney Central College to host a large health event for the whole community. More recently, Health Alliance has also joined in sponsoring this program.
“This is our chance to offer the community a place where health and wellness professionals can come together and focus on wellness in our community,” Chief Nursing Officer, Gina Thomas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC said.
Healthfest offers free admission and is located at Olney Central College where 45 to 50 local healthcare and wellness vendors exhibit booths. Each booth provides information and shares services available to the community. Exhibits range from local chiropractors to work out facilities to medical equipment vendors and more. The hospital has made a special effort to assure that these vendors provide information free of charge since this event is all about the community.
Health screenings such as blood pressure checks, blood glucose checks, bone density tests, and chiropractic adjustment screenings are also available at the event, free of charge. Reduced cost health screenings such as cholesterol levels, and prostate cancer screening (PSA) tests are available. Door prizes and giveaways also make this enjoyable for those in attendance.
Healthfest is organized by Laura Woods, RN, nurse manager and Carle Experience advisor and Teresa Zehner, BSN, RN, CDE, who both work in the Staff Development and Patient and Family Education Department at CRMH. A variety of nursing staff, lab staff, and many other employees volunteer to help at the event. The partnership offers the chance for Olney Central College nursing faculty members and nursing students to interact with the community.
Each year, this event hosts 450 to 700 community members who have consistently shared positive feedback and often return in subsequent years.
“It is the only event like this in the community and it is one way to reach out to those in need of screenings,” Tara Lemke, Carle Richland Memorial Manager of Organizational & Community Development said. “It provides the opportunity for the community to see all of the healthcare and health resources that are available to them locally”.