The human body is very complex, there are so many systems that can break or decline, sometimes without the operator even realizing something went wrong. Porter Regional Hospital is constantly looking for ways to keep people aware of their health as well as potential problems and ways to prevent them. That is why they partnered with Ivy Tech to host their “Spring into Health” fair, to show people from across the Region that quality care is right in their neighborhood.
Hosted at Ivy Tech’s Valparaiso campus, the event featured Porter Regional Hospital medical professionals and Ivy Tech nursing students offering free screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. They also gave diet advice, explained safe lifting techniques, and proper hand washing, because preventative treatment is just as important as curative. A number of physicians from the Porter Regional Health System attended the event and answered questions from curious attendees.
“Education for the public is the primary goal,” said Dr. Maya Kommineni, M.D., Medical Director of the Heart Center for Women at Porter Regional Hospital. “The number one killer of women is cardiovascular disease, and it’s on the rise in general across the world, but specifically in the US – despite all the medicines and all the technology.”
Dr. Kommineni taught visitors about the importance of adding plant products to their diets while decreasing animal product consumption. Staying on top of your health might seem like a challenge to those with busy schedules or tighter budgets, but many of the exhibits demonstrated that simple changes to things that are already daily habits or chores can improve someone’s long-term health. Things like thorough hand washing, small (often cheaper) changes in diet, and learning safe techniques for lifting heavy objects or daily workouts all make a big impact when turned routine.
"We wanted to offer this event to help connect our community with the care offered at Porter Regional Hospital, and to provide health screenings and preventive information. This is a great way for community members to interact with a health professional, ask questions they may have about their health, and participate in free screenings,” said Christine Cowger, RN, MSN, Chest Pain Coordinator at Porter Regional Hospital and an organizer of the event.
Many of the booths were operated by Ivy Tech nursing students who often go on to find work with Porter Health after graduation. The Ivy Tech staff loved the opportunity to take part in an event dedicated to improving community health.
“We’re both working towards the same cause, which is promoting good health,” said DeeDee Marinaro, Dean of the School of Nursing at the Valparaiso campus. “This also lets us reach out to the community, so that they know we have a School of Nursing and a relationship with Porter Health.”
The partnership with Ivy Tech quickly yielded results as both current and prospective students explored the booths. Many had no idea the event was even planned before they came in the doors, but walked out knowing more about their health than they had in years.
“We came to campus to get my son signed up for school and saw the health fair,” said Annette Haschke, whose son is enrolling at the college. “I’m impressed, there’s a lot of really good information on heart issues and strokes. I think it’s important because a lot of people aren’t even aware about their own health, but in my case I ended up being a caregiver for my mom and dad. This is really good information for someone who might be taking care of a loved one.”
The event covered a huge swath of Porter Health’s services, from their cardiovascular care to orthopedic and birthing services. “Spring into Health” gave people in the community the resources and knowledge necessary to make smart decisions about their health care. To learn more about the Porter Health Care System, visit www.porterhealth.com.
85 East U.S. Highway 6
Valparaiso, IN 46383
219 - 983 - 8300
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