ASU hosting health fair in Vicksburg

Published 7:07 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017

By Gabrielle Terrett

The Vicksburg Post

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The community is invited to learn more about their physical health at Alcorn State University’s free health fair this Saturday.

The event starts at 9 a.m. at Alcorn’s Vicksburg Campus at 3505 Pemberton Square Boulevard, Suite 5.

The health fair, sponsored by Alcorn State University’s Vicksburg Alumni Chapter and Alcorn State University is meant to teach the public about health awareness and the diversity of the school, according to Dexter Howard Jr. administrative assistant for Alcorn State University’s Vicksburg Campus.

“The health fair was an idea from our president, Dr. Chris Gilmer, as a way to educate the community about health wellness as well as showing that Alcorn plays a role in the community,” said Howard. “To show that Alcorn does have a presence in Vicksburg, all while bringing the community together.”

The health fair will include a variety of events which have been designed to educate the community of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

The fair will feature free blood pressure, diabetes and kidney screenings, along with vendors and other activities.

Admission is also free.

Participants will be able to interact with some of Vicksburg’s health organizations. Howard said Gaskin Chiropractic, Shape Up Vicksburg, Merit Health and ASU’s School of Nursing will be on hand as vendors.

Sponsors of the event have organized a give-a-way in addition to a blood drive and CPR demonstrations.

There will also be activities for the kids, including tours of a police car and fire truck. In addition to the tours, children will be allowed to view and interact with Vicksburg’s K-9 Unit and play on a space jump.

This is the second year for the event, and Howard hopes to exceed last year’s estimated 100 people in attendance.

“Though I cannot give a numerical answer of how many people are going to be there, I can say that we are expecting a great amount. Hopefully 100 or so people come out,” said Howard. “As mentioned before, this event is all about bringing the community together.”

The sole purpose of the health fair is to educate the public about health, and participants will be given the opportunity to physically work on health with Shape up Vicksburg.

The organization will open the fair with a “Walk with a Doc.” The walk with Dr. Christopher Clark of Merit Health will begin at 9 a.m. in front of Alcorn’s Vicksburg Campus and end in front of the campus as the group makes a loop around the mall.

“The walk will last anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour. It is about keeping participants in the walk,” said Linda Fondren, founder of Shape Up Vicksburg. “It’s about getting people to reduce a sedentary lifestyle. If they can finish in 10 minutes, that’s perfectly okay. If they can jog around there, that’s perfectly okay. If they can skip around it, that’s perfectly okay. This walk is about reducing a sedentary lifestyle.”

As the holidays are soon approaching, Fondren also hopes to make people happy during this walk and show participants the community cares about the health of each individual.

“I want people to be happy,” said Fondren. “You know we have the holidays coming up and sometimes the holidays can be a little sad for some people, but I want them to feel happy. We want them to feel this community cares about them. I want them to feel Alcorn State University cares about them and their health. I want them to feel that a community is coming together to help them live a healthy lifestyle and that they don’t have to do it alone.”

Howard said the walk and health fair are all about encouraging the community to live healthy.

“We hope we encourage the community to live a very healthy lifestyle,” said Howard. “Because, of course, if you live healthier then you live longer.”

For more information on the health fair, contact Alcorn State University’s Vicksburg Campus at 601-629-3558.