Health fair draws a crowd at the UCC Church House
Written by Connie Larkman
June 14, 2012

Do you know your number? How do food allergies affect health? Ready to get up and move around?  Those are just a few of the questions that were answered at the United Church of Christ's Church House on June 13, as part of its first combined Health and Benefits Fair.

"We had a nice turnout," said Alisa Lewis, the UCC's human resources director. "The health professionals said there were a lot of interested employees asking questions."
The almost 100 participants - staff from the UCC's national office in Cleveland - received a lot of instant information. After a quick health screening, each person walked away with important numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index and blood sugar levels. Knowing those numbers can serve as the first step for participants in taking control of their health, and learning how to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

"What I really wanted people to take away from this, all the resources available in the community," said Lisa Thomas, parish nurse for the Church House, who put a lot of effort into assembling the event that offered screening and speakers, massages and messaging.

"When someone has a health problem, you often don't quite know what to do to get help, or how to help someone else. Resources, a new way to attack a problem, often make all the difference," Thomas said.

And there were a lot of resources available. Foot and bone density screenings, HIV screenings, and informational tables throughout the UCC's Meeting House provided more healthy food for thought.

"I thought the foot doctors were excellent, and gave practical, down to earth, good advice," said Barb Powell, associate director of communication. "I was disappointed that we didn't learn more from the blood work," she added, noting that in past years, health screenings included a full blood workup.

In addition, more than a dozen mini-seminars were offered, with the presentations embracing a wealth of topics from diabetes and smoking cessation to acupuncture, sleep disorders, exercise and employee benefits.

"You realize you have these benefits, but don't always know what they entail," said Keri Sugerik, administrative assistant for communication and financial development. "For instance, the Ease @ Work program offers great assistance that I didn't realize until I saw the handouts with all the information."

The event - sponsored by the UCC's Human Resources office, Parish Nurse program, Community Life, and The Pension Boards - packed a lot of information into a few hours.  Based on the encouraging response from the participants, Lewis would like to do an event combining screenings and speakers again.

"We may not be able to do something like this every year, maybe every other year," Lewis said. "But the staff loved it. I heard not one negative word."

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Ms. Connie N. Larkman
Managing Editor & News Director
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-2196
larkmanc@ucc.org