Fair focuses on women’s health issues

Free services offered included blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index and HIV testing.
Friday, May 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A steady flow of women made their way through the tables of information booths at the start of Thursday’s women’s health fair.

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department sponsored its first, four-hour health fair, held at the health department to celebrate National Women’s Health Week this week, said Rebecca Roesslet, social services specialist and health fair coordinator.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to market some services that the health department provides that a lot of people are not aware of,” Roesslet said.

Some of the information available included reproductive health services, smoking cessation, mosquito control, nutrition and mental health.

Women also could take advantage of the free walk-in services, which included blood pressure, blood glucose, body mass index and HIV testing.

“It seems like they have a lot of good information, things that you not always are aware of or think about,” said Janet Pittrich, who said she was impressed with the information provided. “It brings it to your attention.”

Erin Harris, a representative of Women, Infants, Children, or WIC, said she hoped the fair would help get the message out that healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle can improve overall health.

The family counseling center provided women with the opportunity to observe the differences among babies born normally, those with fetal alcohol syndrome and babies born to a mother who used drugs. Participants were encouraged to hold the babies to feel the difference in their size and weight.

Roesslet said she wanted women to be able to take useful information away from the health fair.

“Women sometimes ignore their health because we’re very concerned with that of our family and loved ones and we don’t always take such good care of ourselves,” Roesslet said.

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