The town is holding a health fair on Wednesday, March 13, the first such event in nearly 30 years, at Swift Community Center from 4 to 8 p.m. It’s free and all are welcome!
According to Community Services Director Cathy Bradley and Substance Abuse Coordinator Bob Houghtaling, the idea for the fair came from the Opioid Task Force and the community group Citizens Who Care.
“Bob was instrumental in getting it going with some fabulous support of Sheri Shunney, a parent volunteer who helped organize the school student health fairs through the EGSD Mental Health and Wellness Committee,” Bradley said. “It’s really been a collaborative effort.”
The idea was to take what has been done successfully in the schools and bring it to the whole community, she said.
With that in mind, the early part of the program will be senior friendly: how to get information about EG senior services, a fall-prevention clinic from Elite Physical Therapy, and help with drug interactions from the URI School of Pharmacology. In addition, there will be skin cancer, blood pressure, and cholesterol screenings available.
Representatives from West Bay Community Action will be on hand to talk about housing assistance and heating assistance.
The Boy Scouts will be showing first aid techniques. School Resource Officer Chris Rafferty will talk about vaping. You’ll be able to get information about narcan (used to reverse an overdose): where to get it and how to use it. And you’ll be able to try on “drunk driving” goggles, courtesy of EG police.
The most significant exhibit will be the mockup of a teenager’s bedroom, showing all the places a young person might hide drugs. The room is offered from R.I. Student Assistance Services, which provides school and community-based substance abuse services.
A number of other vendors will be there to provide help and information too. The event brings people of all ages together, both to teach and to learn. If you have teenagers at home, or are caring for an elderly parent, or perhaps just want to see if that funny spot on your arm is anything to be concerned about, stop by the EG Community Health Fair.