KNOXVILLE — A crowd of older residents recently participated in a 55 Plus Health Fair to meet with health care professionals from the Pella and Knoxville area.

Katrina Nelson, a public relations and foundations coordinator for Knoxville Hospital and Clinics said, the July 27 event featured a variety of different vendor booths set up for people to visit.

Around 20 vendors set up exhibits in the lobby area of the hospital, ranging from memory care and independent living, to chiropractic care and how to sign up to see if you think you may have sleep apnea.

“We have the Recreational Center, Med-cap Pharmacy, Hammer Medical and many other ones,” Nelson said. “We also have different types of screenings and testings.”

Some of the testings available were included, skin cancer screenings, balance testing and hearing tests. There was also a wide variety of vendor informational booths

This is the first year of 55 plus Health Fair.

The Knoxville Hospital has held a Girls Night Fair in October, which has been a big success. Because of the success began to think of other health event possibilities. There was also a men’s health day held in April.

Nelson said at the beginning of the year, health care professionals at the hospital decided they wanted to hold more events for the community based around health care.

“What other types of events can we do that is geared towards other age groups,” Nelson said? “So we came up with a variety of health events to do.”

The 55 plus is new along with a Mens Health event held in April. The hospital also began a Kids Health Fair which is held in the spring.

“We try to come up with a wide variety,” Nelson said.

The 55 plus fair stayed busy, she added.

The event began at 4 p.m. with people rolling in before that time.

“It’s been nice. It was also a good time for people to ask about their medications,” Nelson said. “We also have pharmacists that are reviewing medications.”

Area businesses donated gifts for drawings every half hour. The grand prize was a portable grill with cookbooks and utensils.

The event gave residents in the community a chance to ask questions.

“It’s like a one stop shop. If you have questions about your medication, we have pharmacists available to review medications,” Nelson said. “The community can come out here talk to the professionals, get information and have their questions answered. It gives them an avenue for one on one communication with different health care professionals in our community.”

The Knoxville Hospital and Clinics are hoping all of these events will grow year after year. Nelson said it’s a nice opportunity for the community to get health information and a nice way for the hospital and community to stay connected.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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