The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 27, 2014

KSUA hosts health fair for county residents

ASHTABULA — Concerns for the health of Ashtabula County residents led Ashtabula County Medical Center representatives to reach out to State Rep. John Patterson in the hopes of creating a way to help people improve their health.

“Ashtabula County doesn’t fare very well when it comes to health,” said Tina Stasiewski, vice president of business development for ACMC.

Out of the discussions during October of 2013, the idea for a health fair was born and the first edition was held Saturday at Kent State University Ashtabula.

Recent statistics indicate Ashtabula County ranked in the lower 70 percent when it comes to health related issues.

“If we want economic development in Ashtabula County, we have to get healthy first,” Patterson said.

He said the rates of diabetes are high in Ashtabula County and many people suffer from a lack of vitamin D, caused by a lack of sunshine. “The lake giveth and the lake taketh away,” Patterson said.

The fair was held in the gymnasium and included a variety of stations, tests and free material.

Stasiewski said a variety of health tests were given by health professionals including bone density and blood pressure checks, a body mass index review and even a mini-mental test to check for early stages of Alzheimer’s.

She said Community Action and the Lyme Disease support group also had booths at the fair.

Pat Baker, an Ashtabula resident, said she is almost a senior citizen and was glad to review health related issues.

The health fair also brought in two Ashtabula police officers to administer a prescription drug give back program.

A number of people were already lined up at 10 a.m. when the officers arrived.

“Last year we took back 160 pounds of prescription tablets,” said Elaine Christen, of the ACMC businesses development department.

She said there are many reasons why people can accumulate prescription drugs including death of a loved one, changed prescriptions or many other reasons.

Christen said it is important to properly dispose of the drugs; especially for elderly people who might accidentally take the wrong drug.

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