Bringing Health Information and Services to Laborers and Their Families
When you’re looking for an innovative way to address the health behaviors of LIUNA members and their families, planning a health fair or incorporating a health screening event into a LIUNA function can do the trick. The LHSFNA’s Health Promotion Division can help.
Health fairs introduce union members and their families to health and wellness information and screening services. The Division can arrange for nurses to conduct health screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol at no cost to you. To request assistance, print and complete the top portion of the Health Fair Request Form and send it back to Carly Sager via fax (202-628-2613), email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her at 202-628-5465. A minimum of 30 days notice is requested so nurses can be secured for your event and necessary support materials, such as screening equipment, can be delivered prior.
Reaching LIUNA members through health fairs and health screenings helps:
- Identify health risks for specific individuals
- Encourage behavior change
- Reduce health care costs
- Increase wellness program participation
- Improve member health awareness
- Show that LIUNA cares
- It can alert someone to a health problem that may otherwise go undetected.
- Members feel their union and/or employer is providing them with useful information.
- It provides an opportunity for family members to be involved in a union activity.
- It’s a chance for members to gather as a group and form a bond, which may be missing at spread-out worksites or lower attended membership meetings.
- Retirees get an opportunity to take part, reminding them why it’s important to maintain their membership.
A health fair can be sponsored by any LIUNA or labor-management entity. The LHSFNA has assisted the following LIUNA affiliates or groups in developing and implementing health fairs:
- District Councils
- Local Unions
- Health and welfare funds
- Local labor-management funds
- Signatory employers
Planning a Health Fair
Whether one person or a team of people is doing the planning, asking the following questions and gathering the following information can help make your event a success.
- Who –Define your audience(s).
Health fairs are generally open to LIUNA members and retirees and their immediate family members.
- What – What will the event include?
- Will there be additional activities beyond LHSFNA-provided health screenings?
- Will outside vendors be contacted or solicited to provide services?
- Wellness topics include: body fat percentage, height and weight, vision test, skin cancer screening, flu shots
- Occupational health tests include: hearing test, pulmonary function testing, chiropractor
- Mental health and substance abuse topics include: Member Assistance Program providers, alcohol and substance abuse information and treatment providers
- LIUNA-affiliated programs and services include: health benefits, pension benefits, training center classes, prescription drug plan, legal assistance, mortgage assistance, voter registration
- Demonstrations can include: chair massages, healthy cooking, proper lifting technique, personal safety
- National or community organizations to invite could include: American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Red Cross, March of Dimes, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Safety Council, United Way
- Family-friendly activities could include: moon bounce, face painting, clown, magician, action figure/super hero characters
- When – When and how will the event be held?
- It can be held as an independent event or as part of an event that is already planned, like a picnic, membership meeting or party. If incorporated into an event that is already planned, please provide a start and end time for the health fair.
- Consider the time of year and day of the week that will encourage the most participation.
- Please provide the LHSFNA with at least 30 days notice to adequately staff and help organize your event.
- Where –Choose a location that is convenient and easily accessible. Consider:
- The layout, spacing and flow of traffic
- Parking for staff and participants
- Handicap accessibility
- Noise levels – accurate blood pressure readings require an area as free from loud noise as possible
- Ticket admission (e.g., an amusement park)
- Plan to promote the event
- Include messaging about an upcoming health fair in existing communication (e.g., newsletter) and/or create standalone communication pieces
- Identify what channels will be used:
- Flyers and posters
- Meeting announcements
- Home mailings (e.g., letters, postcards)
- Social media
- When will you start marketing?
- Set a budget. The LHSFNA portion of the event is brought to you free of charge; this includes the health fair staffing and accommodations, health screening supplies and health education materials. However, other items may add to the cost of the event.
- Location rental
- Admission fees and/or parking depending on where event is held
- Table and chair rental
- Hosting additional screening vendors or activities
- Food and drink provided
- Raffles or giveaways during the event
- Health-related ideas include: athletic equipment, healthy cookbooks, self-help books, massage gift certificate, first-aid kid, water bottle
- Non-health-related ideas include: hats, t-shirts, sporting event tickets, restaurant gift certificate
- How will you measure success? Will it be based on participation rates? Consider creating an assessment tool.
Sample Health Fair Timeline
Depending on the answers to the questions above, your event may be relatively simple or more complex. The sample timeline below can help ensure your health fair is a success.
90 days or more in advance
- Obtain prior approval if necessary
- Set goals and objectives
- Develop a budget
- Design theme and concept
- Identify potential providers
- Form health fair committee
- Determine content of the health fair
- Set date and time (notify the LHSFNA once date and time has been set)
- Select and reserve location
- Contact potential providers by mail or phone
60 days in advance
- Select entertainment and refreshments
- Order giveaways
- Order supplies and materials
- Coordinate artwork and printing
- Solicit donated items
45 days in advance
- Confirm all providers
- Check on status of supplies
- Plan layout and flow of event
- Develop promotion plan
- Create evaluation tools
30 days in advance
- Distribute “Save the Date” flyers
- Arrange for posters to go up
- Send maps, parking and other instructions
- Confirm location
- Confirm all supplies and printed materials are ordered
7 days in advance
- Prepare name tags and signs
- Decide on staff identification and appropriate attire
- Hold a pre-event meeting for all staff and volunteers
- Send a countdown reminder flyer
Health Fair Day
- Set up the night before if possible or at least two hours before the health fair begins
- Greet providers and show them to their tables
- Set up high-visibility registration table
- Arrange for breaks and refreshments for staff
- Open the door and welcome the participants with a SMILE
- Have a post-event debriefing
- Send thank you letters to staff, providers, donors
- Evaluate what went well during the event and what could be improved in the future