Approximately 2,800 to 3,000 people attended Greenville Regional Hospital’s annual health fair, held Friday at the Greenville First United Methodist Church.

1,425 blood tests were performed at the event Friday.  Thus far, approximately 2,700 blood tests have been administered in conjunction with the annual Health Fair.  Additional testing will continue at a number of satellite Health Fair events at large employers throughout Bond County.  A final number of blood tests performed will be announced in mid-April.

Over 40 national, state, and local organizations and exhibitors participated in the twenty-ninth annual event, which many consider to be one of the finest in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

A health fair, by definition, is an event where health testing and information are made available to the community.  The event is not designed to replace regular visits with your physician.  It can be, however, an excellent tool for the early detection of illness or potential health problems.

Participants were offered the opportunity to have comprehensive blood tests performed at discounted prices.  The blood tests include a complete blood chemistry, a cardiac risk profile, an anemia test, a complete blood count, tests for kidney and liver diseases as well as other illnesses, and a thyroid test, offered for $35.  The comprehensive blood test normally costs $1,407, a savings of 98 percent.

A special price of only $45 was offered for men wanting both the comprehensive blood test and the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.  This combined test normally costs $1,521, a savings of 97 percent.

Greenville Regional Hospital offered a hemoglobin A1C blood test at the Health Fair.  This test measures the long-term control of glucose for diabetics, and was available with or without the comprehensive testing for $10.  The actual value of the A1C test is $114.

Vitamin D testing was available at the Greenville Regional Hospital Health Fair.  The test, normally valued at $193, was available for $15.  Vitamin D testing will assess if a patient has a Vitamin D deficiency, or, if the individual is receiving Vitamin D therapy, it will help determine if their supplementation level is appropriate.

Many individuals who have participated in the Greenville Regional Hospital Health Fair have learned of personal health problems by taking advantage of the comprehensive blood tests.  Several individuals credit the test with saving their lives by detecting illnesses and diseases that showed no symptoms.

Blood test results will be mailed to participants in four to six weeks.  Those with life-threatening blood test results have already been contacted.  Participants are urged to keep one copy of the blood test results for their personal records and take the carbon copy to their primary care physician for review.

Many blood test recipients commented on the exceptionally short wait times for the blood tests again this year.

In addition to the low-cost blood tests, fourteen free health tests were also offered at Health Fair 2012, including screenings for cataracts, and glaucoma; hearing, vision, pulmonary function, and hand grip-strength testing; height, weight, body fat composition, and blood pressure screenings; video ear inspections; digital foot scans; spinal muscle tension readings; and oral health screening.

158 Health Fair attendees participated in vision screening.  90 were referred to their optometrist for a follow-up consultation.  Over 250 visitors participated in the height and weight screenings.  330 video ear inspections were conducted, with 47 referred for follow-up.  273 hearing checks were performed.  144 participants were encouraged to seek additional consultation.  241 individuals were screened for glaucoma, with 5 referrals.  47 oral health screenings were administered.  And 130 cataract screenings were performed.

Bone density testing, available for $5 at the health fair, once again proved to be a popular offering again this year.  165 bone density tests were conducted at Health Fair 2012.

Health Fair organizers credited several groups with the success of the event.  Greenville Regional Hospital Director of Legislative Affairs & Volunteer Service Alan Gaffner praised the hard work of the 275-300 volunteers involved.  “This is a very large event and a great deal of planning goes into it,” said Gaffner.  In addition to the volunteers involved in health fair planning and set-up, many receive special training and assist in conducting various health tests and screenings.  Volunteers will assist with mailing health fair results in the coming weeks, as well.

Greenville Regional Hospital Director of Advancement & Communication Ryan Mifflin said, “We greatly appreciate all of the time and effort put into the health fair by each and every hospital staff member, volunteer, and exhibitor who participated.  This is truly a community effort and many organizations play a role in its success.”

In order for medical professionals, exhibitors, and volunteers to offer continuous health testing and services, lunch was donated by area businesses.  Greenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary volunteer Judy Debatin coordinated the food contributions and lunch preparation.

Businesses providing lunch donations included: Alco, Bakery Nook, Bond County Senior Center, Bradford National Bank, Buchheit, Capri IGA, Casey’s General Store, Country Kitchen, Cunetto’s, CVS, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, First National Bank,

Funderburk’s 66, the Greenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary, Greenville Regional Hospital Food & Nutrition Services, Hibachi Buffet, Huddle House, Kahuna’s, KFC / Taco Bell, Lu Bob’s, Mario’s Pizza, McDonalds, Midland States Bank, Powhatan, Prairie Farms, Subway, and Wayne’s Produce.

Participants from Bond and surrounding counties attended Health Fair 2012.  As usual, many attendees traveled from throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area to participate in the health fair.  Other communities represented included Springfield, Teutopolis, and Girard, in Illinois, and Rosedale, Indiana.