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Monday, April 21, 2014

290 attend 5th Annual NMC Health Fair

A Northern Marianas College nursing student prepares to give a Health Fair participant a free blood sugar test, during the Heath Fair held on Saturday at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center. (Contributed Photo) Nursing students are exposed to the many sicknesses that plague the people of the CNMI. They encounter diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and many other illnesses, according to NMC Nursing Club vice president Jan Alcantara.

Many of these diseases, she said, occur due to the lack of information about health and access to health care providers. As aspiring nurses, part of their duties includes patient care in the hospital, which also includes health education and preventative care.

“Our goal is to provide the community with the opportunity to have health screenings, learn from informational booths and participate in exercise activities that promote the health of the entire person,” she said.

In line with this initiative, the NMC Nursing Club hosts a health fair every year that not only provides free checkups but also a host of information on how to keep oneself and one’s family healthy.

This year, the fifth edition of the health fair was held on Saturday at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe, which drew nearly 300 members of the community.

The 5th Annual Health Fair started off with a 5K walk in the morning, with the first 20 finishers awarded T-shirts.

At the Multi-Purpose Center itself, 20 booths occupied the venue both inside and outside. Get Fit CNMI exhibited Cross Fit and basic body mechanics and proper mobility. The Hardt Eye Clinic and other educational booths provided free blood sugar checks and eye exams. There were also CPR demonstrations and a “Boxercise” session.

The event also featured a panel discussion of physicians and a registered nurse who answered questions regarding health concerns. NMC-CREES also held a presentation on the fat content of common foods people eat and drink, such as: Spam, corned beef, Hi-C, and King Car. The event came to a close with a Zumba session by Gold’s Gym.

According to Alcantara, all the profits generated will help support the club’s outreach efforts, such as purchasing supplies for their Accucheck machines.

The walk garnered 49 walkers while 241 community members participated in the fair along with 30 volunteers.

“For the most part, I think that the community really enjoyed availing of the free services and information. I also think they enjoyed the demonstrations for the program,” Alcantara said. “Our ultimate aim for the health fair was to simply offer free health services to the public, bring the community together to be informed about health issues in the CNMI, and spread awareness and knowledge about healthy living, to encourage and promote healthy living.”

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