Merit Health offers free health fair

Published 12:01 am Monday, May 21, 2018

Promoting good health through education and attention to lifestyle is a focus of Merit Health Natchez.

We feel it is our responsibility as a healthcare provider to share our services and knowledge with the community we serve. 

From noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, from noon, the hospital is hosting a Community Health and Safety Fair at the Natchez Convention Center. 

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The fair will be a showcase of fitness, health and wellness information, aimed at helping you gain useful tips and practices so you can be a healthier you.  We will have booths set up that will offer you information on first aid; nutrition; trauma prevention; infection control; automated external defibrillator and much, much more. 

In August 2017, Merit Health Natchez was awarded Chest Pain Center Accreditation by the American College of Cardiology.  The accreditation is the result of a tremendous team effort of directors and leaders in our emergency, telemetry and Intensive Care areas, as well as physicians and local emergency medical services and responders. 

At Tuesday’s Health and Safety Fair, we will have healthcare professionals from our Cardiopulmonary Services department on hand to provide you with valuable information on heart health and heart attack prevention. AMR will be on hand to offer hands only CPR demonstrations.

May is recognized as both National Stroke Awareness Month and National High Blood Pressure Education Month. The correlation of those two observances is no accident — high blood pressure sits at No. 2 among preventable causes of heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking.

While conditions such as stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes share many similar causes, complications and treatments, a stroke is technically a condition affecting the brain.

Also known as a “brain attack,” stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is either blocked or it bursts, preventing the brain from getting the blood it needs and causing cells to die.

Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S., claiming more than 130,000 lives each year. And while advancing age is certainly a contributing risk factor, in recent years more than 30 percent of those hospitalized for stroke are under age 65.

At the Health and Safety Fair, you will learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke, as well as what resources are available for rehabilitation after a stroke.

Healthcare professionals will be on hand to offer free blood pressure screenings, height, weight, BMI, heart rate and oxygen saturation.  You will be provided with information on what the normal ranges should be with those screenings. 

Air Evac will be on hand to offer information on snake bites, and Metro Ambulance will have a booth to offer education on something very crucial for our area, recognizing symptoms of heat exhaustion. 

Preventative care and wellness education are key ingredients to the early detection and intervention of potentially life-threatening conditions, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

Please take advantage of the wealth of knowledge, information and education that will be available from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, at the Natchez Convention Center.

Tammy Cranford is chief quality officer for Merit Health Natchez.