2011-10-06 / Local & State

Library To Host Health Fair October 22

Three guest lectures to highlight special event
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

What started out as an endeavor to purchase and shelve essential books related to the field of medicine at the Fulton County Library has blossomed into a full-scale undertaking for library executive director Jamie Brambley and board member Dr. Carol Copeland.

In realizing the expense related to purchasing the necessary materials to update a medical and self-help section at the library, library officials opted to apply for much-needed funding through the federal Library and Services Technology Act (LSTA).

Administered by the the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, the $5,000 LSTA grant has enabled the library to purchase a variety of books on common diseases ranging from diabetes and heart disease to mental disorders and Alzheimer’s. In addition, modern medical reference books have been made available through the grant process for both medical personnel and patients needing more subject information.

A clinical pharmacist, Dr. Copeland stated in a recent letter penned to the officials overseeing the LSTA Public Library Collection Development grant that she has learned firsthand of the “duty to educate our patients.”

“Patients need to be active participants with their healthcare providers,” said Dr. Copeland. “They need to understand how to prevent disease and what their doctors do if they develop symptoms. I consider it very important that all patients know what medications they are taking and why they are taking them. In addition, they must be aware of such things as side effects, possible drug interactions and how to take their medications.”

The funding has also resulted in the partial funding of a health fair scheduled for later this month, where participants will be able to gather information related to a variety of fields as well as hear guest lecturers. Set for Saturday, October 22, in the library’s community room, the health fair will kick off at 12:30 p.m.

In hopes of introducing patrons to the library’s new facility and to the array of medical resources and services that are available to them, Copeland stated the event will offer a little bit of something for everyone.

“We’ll be giving out practical information as it relates to everyday life” she added.

The event will begin with a 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. lecture by professionals from Fulton County Medical Center, who will be giving an overview of the healthcare services their facility has readily available currently as well as what the future holds for the facility. Tentatively on the schedule to speak are Jason Hawkins, hospital president and chief executive officer, and hospital public relations director Misty Hershey.

Various health screenings, brochures and vital information will also be offered throughout the health fair, Copeland noted.

In addition, pet lovers should not miss a one-hour lecture set to get under way at 2 p.m. with Dr. Roger A. Horst, D.V.M., of Mercersbug Veterinary Clinic. “We will learn what nutrients our pets need and how to read the labels on food packaging so we know exactly what they are eating,” Copeland said. “It is important that we be able to make informed decisions in order to assure the best quality of life for our pets.”

Still focusing on the topic of nutrition, area teens are urged to attend a lecture with local dietician nutritionist Cathy Snyder beginning at 3 p.m. Snyder’s talk will be followed up by a “Zumba” certified dance instructor Julia Francella Richards, who will be leading those in attendance through a session of the hottest new fitness dance craze. In addition to being an official Zumba Fitness instructor, Richards also holds a master’s degree in holistic nutrition and is an certified personal trainer.

“I want to make people aware of what’s available to them here without having to travel any distance,” Copeland said. “... The library is also very devoted to teens through the establishment of a teen board that meets monthly. There is so much the library can do for teens in regard to books, homework and offering information on issues that affect our youths.”

Not slated to conclude until 5 p.m., residents are welcome to stop by the library’s community room, ask questions or just gather information as it pertains to their everyday lives.

Copeland hopes to continue the guest lectures as a regular offering in the future. The library will also move forward with its plans to pursue additional grant money in order to offer additional events and expand their medicine and self-help section.

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