On a bright and bustling Saturday morning, the Valpo YMCA, in partnership with St. Mary Medical Center, held a health fair to benefit the community members passing through their doors.
Between the many tables set up with eager volunteers there was a plethora of information available for members of the Valpo Y to stop by and learn about from the health professionals and Y employees stationed there. Some of the healthy education topics included: youth sports, obesity prevention, occupational health, blood pressure screening, childcare & summer camp, cancer awareness, nutrition, diabetes prevention, and general health and wellness.
Also being emphasized were some of the YMCA’s upcoming fitness events, like Ringing in the Spring. Nate Nunnelly, who acts as the new Race Director for the April 7th event, was excited to be talking to the public about the race and encouraging others to join in on this Springtime Valpo staple.
“I believe this is the 25th year the race has been going on,” said Nunnelly. “Mike Jones was the previous Race Director, and had been leading it up until this year. I had been running the Ringing in the Spring ever since I was a kid, so it is nice to be running it now, and Mike helped to transition me into the role. It is a great race and a great event for the community.”
All proceeds from the Ringing in the Spring race go to the Y and benefit their many health and wellness programs.
Embodying this amazing partnership between the Y and St. Mary Medical Center is Christy Cleveland, registered RN, who works at the Valpo Y to help members with everything from blood pressure screenings to general health and wellness advice. Cleveland was excited to be present at the fair to give out advice and help members with any questions they might have.
“It’s such a great partnership because the Y is all about wellness, and St. Mary is as well. It’s the perfect fit,” said Cleveland.
Cleveland highlighted the labs that the hospital will be performing at the Y on 6th as one of the great benefits that members can take advantage of. Aside from that, Cleveland emphasized the open-door policy she has with inquiring Y members who come to see her with their health-related questions and concerns.
“There are the blood pressure screenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays that we do; we’re learning more about the rise of heart disease, screening for diabetes, as well as screening for high blood pressure, weight, and BMI on the higi machine,” said Cleveland.
Cleveland has over 30 years in cardiac care, but is still learning more, and with the new blood pressure guidelines set by the American Heart Association, she is attending seminars to keep up to date on the latest information.
“I’m all about wellness, fitness, whatever we can do before medication becomes necessary. The team with St. Mary and the physicians there, they are real people who really want to help people. I have worked in other hospitals and that is not always the case. I am really excited to be with St. Mary’s; this is really the perfect job,” explained Cleveland.
Among others happy to be out in the community that day were Christopher Osan, MD, who recently opened a family practice with Community Healthcare System along with his wife, Alyssa Pagliere Osan.
“St. Mary is phenomenal. They are very physician-friendly and they went the extra mile to set up a practice for us," Osan said. "It’s great because I love Valpo and Northwest Indiana. These fairs are an awesome opportunity to educate people who might not have otherwise come to us and give them some answers.”
Pharmacist Jonathan Guerrero, PharamD, BCPS, was also present to chat with anyone who had questions about their medications.
“It is good for St. Mary to be here for the public and talk about the things we can prevent and the care we can provide," Guerrero said. "With me being a pharmacist, many times when people come through the pharmacy they can be in a rush and stressed out, so, this is a good opportunity to have a calm conversation with the public about any questions they might have."
Chris Sheid, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for St. Mary Medical Center, was also happy to be out in the public contributing to the worthy cause of health education.
“Our mission is to promote health and coming out to health fairs like this are a way for us to provide information to the public about how best to maintain their health. Really, it is about letting them know how to be healthiest and it is an opportunity for the Y and St. Mary to come together and share information on how to live a healthy life,” said Sheid.
1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive Valparaiso, IN 46383
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