Wellness fair coming Saturday

By Kevin Wilson: Quay County Sun

By all accounts, the Quay County Maternal Child and Community Health Council is ready for its bi-annual Community Wellness Fair, and it hopes for the biggest one in its short history.

The fair, which began as a women’s wellness fair, expanded to a community-wide fair in 2000. The 2004 fair had about 500 participants, and MCCH Coordinator Alida Brown said 600 participants was a reasonable goal for this year’s event.

The fair takes place 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tucumcari Convention Center. Nearly 75 booths are reserved for the fair, with about 25 screenings.

One screening MCCH members and volunteers have been vocal about is the lipid profile screening, which measures total cholesterol,

The levels are used to determine risks of stroke, heart attacks or coronary heart disease. Results from a lipid profile take less than 30 minutes and require a small amount of blood from a pricked finger.

“The screenings require fasting for 12 hours,” said Bob Grzywacz, pharmacist for Trigg Hospital in Tucumcari. “We do have a contact number. We’re taking appointments. We will also take walk-ins as a first-come, first-serve.”

Members said for the purposes of the lipid profile test, fasting means no food for 12 hours and a minimal amount of water, if any.

Appointments can be made by calling 461-2656 and asking for Doris.

Brown said one component new to the fair this year is the inclusion of local emergency personnel, including local fire departments, the Red Cross and the New Mexico Department of Health. The county’s Multi-Casualty Incident (MCI) trailer has supplies to treat as many as 20 patients.

With many hazardous conditions around, including high fire hazards, Brown said being prepared for an emergency certainly falls within the broad topic of health, in that injuries or death can occur if people do not prepare or react properly to emergencies.

Most people with the council agree that health can cover many topics, and there’s nothing wrong with bringing in as many local services as possible, even when they are only indirectly related to health.

“MCCH is wanting to do something that is collaborative,” said Fran Peterson, Trigg Hospital’s director of nursing. “The more organizations you can involve, the better it’s going to be for everyone.”

Other booths include education on bicycle safety and DNA swab kits for parents to identify children in emergency situations.

Admission to the event is either one can of food or $1. The money and food will be split by the Ministry of Hope and the House Community Pantry. Brown said creating a food donation with a minimal admission helps the council address hunger as a health issue and give thanks to the community that supports the fair.

“We are very appreciative of the community support,” Brown said. “This wouldn’t happen, except that it has such incredible community support — and that isn’t just Tucumcari.”