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Health Fair Promotes good living

By Pfc. M. Daniel Sanchez | | June 29, 2006

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More than 300 station Marines and personnel visited the Semper Fit and Branch Medical Clinic’s 2006 Spring Health Fair at the station gym parking lot June 29.

The health fair had more than 20 different booths, the majority of which are programs or services offered here, with information about living a physically, mentally, emotionally and even financially healthy lifestyle.

Representatives from BMC, Semper Fit, Tricare, the chaplain’s office and many more health related programs were present to answer questions station personnel had about health.

The fair was designed to give the Marines and sailors here a snap-shot view of different health-related topics and information offered to them, said Kate Osborne, Semper Fit health promotions director and health fair coordinator.

It was also designed as a way to get the Marines and sailors to interact with the different services offered on base, said Navy Lt. Beth Kane, BMC clinical and health fair coordinator.
There are so many free services offered to military personnel, but the service members are not always aware of what those services are, said Ivette Birney, Marine Corps Family Team Building director.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the vast number of programs the Marine Corps has created to take care of its Marines and Marine families, said Birney.

One visitor, Gunnery Sgt. Michael Kudla, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron food services, said he was surprised to find out the Marine Corps offered such a large amount of free support programs.

Kudla said he has a new-born baby on the way and because he went to the health fair he was able to find out the station offered a baby boot camp and mom’s basic training program for new parents.

Each Marine has to look out for their own health and this is the best way to find out how to do that. Plus, it’s free, added Kudla.

The Marines who attended were also able to fulfill nine different Marine Corps training requirements, which include suicide prevention, drug awareness, mental health, nutrition and sexually-transmitted-disease prevention training.

In addition to the benefit of learning how to stay healthy, several prizes were raffled off by Semper Fit as an incentive for attendance. Prizes included golf drivers, heart-rate monitors, MP3 players, calorie counters and a workout ball with built-in resistance bands.

A $100 cash prize went to Marine Attack Squadron 214 for having the highest percentage of attendance of all the squadrons on station.

Osborne said the health fair staff was able to meet its goal of significantly increasing participation from the previous year of 150 people to more than 300 participants for the spring health fair.

Osborne attributed the success of the health fair to the work of the Semper Fit staff and the support of the sergeants major here.

Marines and sailors constantly deploy overseas to fight in wars and carry out the military’s mission, so they have to make sure they are healthy and armed with the information to continue that fight, said Kane.

The next health is scheduled for the fall of 2006.

For more information on health and health related topics, contact Beth Kane at 269-6366 of Kate Osborne at 269-5334.

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