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ECRMC hosting five-hour Valleywide heath fair

May 05, 2001

A five-hour Valleywide health fair will be offered by El Centro Regional Medical Center as the highlight of its observance of National Hospital and National Nurses weeks, which coincide Sunday through Saturday.

The fair, including such free services as health screenings for adults and health information material for children, will run from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the hospital's parking lot, 1271 Ross Ave. Free drinks and kettle corn will be available.

"We have chosen this year to celebrate hospital week by giving something to the community we serve," said Judy Hamilton, registered nurse and the hospital's director of education. She said the theme of the health fair will be "Caring People, People Caring," which is the theme adopted for hospital week nationally.

Hamilton, whose department is in charge of arranging and staffing the health fair, said no fewer than 14 hospital departments will man booths explaining the services of those departments. The all-volunteer auxiliary also will be on hand in an effort to recruit new members.

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Health screening services will include free blood pressure and blood glucose tests, the latter designed to determine a person's susceptibility to diabetes. Diabetes is particularly prevalent in border areas such as the Imperial Valley and is a malady with potentially dire results such as blindness, loss of limbs, heart problems as well as other complications.

Hamilton said children in third and fourth grades of all El Centro elementary schools are being especially invited and the school district is prepared to offer bus transportation where necessary to the fair. In addition to the free snacks and drinks, the children will receive such gifts as doctors' headbands and nurses' caps.

There will be children-related games and hands-on experience involving scopes and other equipment used in diagnostic and treatment within the hospital.

"We would like to encourage children even at that young age to begin thinking of careers in the health-care field," Hamilton said.

Departments to be represented with booths include cardiopulmonary, laboratory, surgery, obstetrics, education, infection control and others. The 2001 edition of the hospital's employee-compiled cookbook will be available for sale.

Other Hospital Week events planned include a barbecue for the entire staff Thursday and special balloon bouquets delivered to the various departments in the hospital.

The in-house observance of nurses' week, based on the national theme of "Nurses are the True Spirit of Caring," will include daily activities throughout the week, all geared, said Virgie Galindo, El Centro Regional assistant administrator and chief nursing officer, to "pampering" the staff.

On Monday, free pizzas will be delivered to those working on all shifts, compliments of Papa John's Pizza; Tuesday, local vendors will set up booths to offer such services as hairstyling tips, fingernail treatments, book store and uniform store offerings; Wednesday, the official National Nurses' Day, and Thursday will be devoted to programs recognizing nurses for individual achievements such as customer service and each nurse will presented with a Florence Nightingale lamp; and Friday, there will be an ice cream social.

Galindo said the Nurses' Week observance is designed to localize recognition of the hospital's portion of the work of America's 2.6 million registered nurses to save lives and to maintain the health of millions of individuals."

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