Nearly 200 people attended the Second Annual Health Fair Oct. 2 that featured more than 20 health professionals who provided a number of free screenings including glaucoma, health risk, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, dental, skin cancer and carotid artery ultrasound.
Information and consultations were also provided for exercise and nutrition, self breast exams and physical therapy options. Flu shots, for $5, were provided by the Madera County Public Health Department at the event held at the Oakhurst Community Center.
Carolyn Scharffenberg, a member of the Oakhurst 7th Day Adventist Church who helped coordinate the event, praised all the vendors for making the event the success it was.
“If we didn’t have all these providers we wouldn’t have such a great event for the community,” Scharffenberg said. “They all donated their time and all the testing that they provided. All these area providers are here for our community and they all know that not everyone can afford good health coverage and we all just want to help those people.”
Scharffenberg said many people thanked her and the providers for putting on the health fair.
“One lady brought her mother to get her vision checked,” Scharffenberg explained. “The daughter said it had been bad for about three years, and she was so grateful that she could get her mother tested. Another senior told me all the services and information provided in one location was great and was happy to find out that he could go to the gym with the Silver Sneakers program for free with Medicare.”
Dr. Clarence S.F. Ing of Sacramento performed Carotid Artery Ultrasounds during the event, a screening that can serve as an early indicator of plaque build-up that could lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Ing, board certified in Ophthalmology and preventative medicine, said two thirds of the deaths in the United States are due to heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes and cancer.
“There are 3,000 deaths a year in the country, one every 29 seconds, from cardiovascular disease,” Ing said.
Ing, who has been the medical director of the Newstart Wellness Program at Weimar Institute in Colfax for 14 years, and his wife Maya, a dietician, have been involved with lifestyle medicine for 38 years.
“We believe in total health ... mental, physical and spiritual,” Maya said. “It’s good to exercise and eat right, but you can’t hold grudges against people and refuse to forgive people ... it negatively affects your health. Angry thoughts can diminish your immune system.”
The Health Fair, held at the Oakhurst Community Center, was sponsored by a number of businesses and organizations including California WIC (women, infants and children), Madera County Public Health Department, John C. Fremont Healthcare District, Adventist Health, Saint Agnes Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Sierra Ambulance, Coarsegold Physical Therapy, Camarena Health, and the Veterans Oakhurst Outpatient Clinic.