Next time you’re planning a Local Union meeting, picnic or other special event for members of your Local, consider including a health fair as part of it. The LHSFNA’s Health Promotion Division plans, implements and evaluates a comprehensive Health Fair Program at no cost to LIUNA entities and affiliated organizations.
What Happens During a Health Fair?
Registered nurses or other medical professionals staff the event and conduct the following health screenings: blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose – in a fasting (no food or drink for eight hours) or non-fasting state. In addition, health fair staff provide counseling to participants about their results and may recommend certain lifestyle changes (e.g., diet, exercise, managing stress) or a visit to their doctor for a follow-up consultation. Health fairs also include educational materials from the LHSFNA on a range of topics, including tobacco cessation, marijuana, opioids and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
The health fair program isn’t intended to replace a person’s annual physical with their doctor – for many people it’s a way to gauge their health between doctor’s visits. However, whether it’s due to a busy schedule, health insurance eligibility or something else, a LHSFNA-sponsored health fair may be the only time some members see a medical professional all year. Regardless of what purpose the health fair serves for someone, we want to make it as beneficial an opportunity as possible.
Health Fair Program Enhancements
To assess the program’s effectiveness, the Fund now invites participants to provide feedback and comment on their health fair experience using an evaluation form. To date, 100 percent of attendees said they would attend another LIUNA-affiliated health fair in the future if it was available.
The Fund’s health fair equipment and related educational materials have also been updated recently. Outdated meters and test strips were replaced with new, more efficient meters that also provide more detail during cholesterol testing. While the Fund previously used separate publications for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and health screening results, those topics have now been streamlined into one new publication titled Know Your Numbers. The new publication includes an explanation of each screening measure along with risk factors and possible lifestyle changes.
Why You Should Provide a Health Fair at Your Next Event
“Hosting a health fair shows LIUNA members and their families that you care about them as a person – not just a worker – and have a vested interest in their health and wellness,” says LIUNA Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck. “Health fairs may also help control health care costs by identifying at-risk individuals and encouraging them to seek medical care and change their health behaviors. Health fairs provide a central location to distribute health-related information as well as highlight and promote upcoming local activities that contribute to someone’s
Why You Should Get Screened at a Health Fair
Knowing your health screening numbers is an important piece of your health puzzle. These numbers provide a snapshot of your current health status. They also provide a baseline so you can compare your health status over time and determine your risk level for conditions that can negatively impact your health. These numbers can also serve as a motivator to make lifestyle changes that will improve your health.
For more information about the LHSFNA’s Health Fair Program or to request one today, please visit the Health Promotion Division’s Health Fair page or call 202-628-5465.
Growing Your Health Fair
While the LHSFNA provides screening for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, there are other services you may also want to make available at your event. Hosts often invite vendors or other organizations from the community to provide additional services and information, such as:
- Other wellness offerings, including body fat percentage, vision testing, hearing testing, skin cancer screening and flu shots
- LIUNA-affiliated programs and services, including member assistance program providers and information on health benefits offered through LIUNA health and welfare funds and pension funds
- Demonstrations like chair massages, healthy cooking and personal safety
- National or community organizations such as the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and National Safety Council
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Please contact the LHSFNA if you have questions or need assistance in growing your event.
[Emily Smith is the Health Promotion Division’s Senior Benefit and Wellness Specialist.]