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4-County EPA hosts community health fair


Kristin Mamrack



Hundreds of health-conscious residents of the Golden Triangle and beyond Thursday visited 4-County Electric Power Association''s Health Fair at East Mississippi Community College''s Mayhew campus. 


More than 250 of the co-operative''s members -- or customers -- participated in the fair and received free screenings of bone density, blood sugar, vision and glaucoma issues and cholesterol. 


Additionally, they were educated on various health issues, including smoking cessation, sleep apnea, diabetes, nutrition and weight management. 


"It''s going wonderful," Connie Cotts, 4-County''s human resources and benefits administrator, said of the fair, noting it began 20 years ago, with simple screenings, and now has expanded into a "full-fledged health fair." 


"Returning members know we have the health fair and they''re back every year," she added. "They rely upon the fact we have this; some of them don''t have regular screenings done and 4-County is really glad to provide this service for our members." 


"I''m here to have as much done as I can to see how my health is doing," said Paul Crowley, of Maben, visiting the health fair for a third year. 


A resident of Mathiston, Gary Gardner has been attending the health fairs, which he agreed were a "viable service," for 15 years. 


"It''s great," said Mary Turner, a West Point resident who has attended the fair for four years. "I keep up with my health (through the health fair). And I like the fellowship and everything and to see different friends I haven''t seen." 


Health care providers participating in the fair included Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, the YMCA, North Mississippi Medical Center, Oktibbeha County Hospital, Diversified Health Services and Curtis Optometry. 


Representing Oktibbeha County Hospital, respiratory therapists Cleo Griffin and Eddie High were busy providing asthma education and information on respiratory health issues to 4-County members. 


"We''re participating because we want to give people information," explained High. "Knowledge is power. 


"We''ve had an excellent response," he added. "People are very interested and for some people having issues, we''re able to reveal some information they didn''t already have. I think our mission has been very successful today." 


"It''s been tremendous," Candi Knight, of BMH-GT, said of the health fair. "I didn''t realize it was this big or this many customers took advantage of it. We try to do as much as we can with the community and this is a great way to show our support." 


The health fair was held in connection with the 4-County Electric Power Association''s annual meeting. 


During the fair, representatives of 4-County also demonstrated ways in which members can save money and energy, like by replacing incandescent lights with compact fluorescent bulbs. 


"We think it''s very important for (members) to be aware of everything they can do to save some energy," said Ronnie Vernon, of 4-County, as he discussed the use of electric heaters and demonstrated the amount of energy used from a hairdryer and iron. "I''ve been staying busy all morning talking to them. I''m trying to make them aware everything they use burns electricity."




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