CLARK, NJ — The township of Clark and ShopRite organized a health fair to take place at the town’s ShopRite on April 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several vendors and organizations displayed their services and products at tables throughout the store. This event usually takes places once or twice a year in the fall or spring. Although this fair wasn’t the first to take place at the Clark ShopRite, it was the first health fair run by the store’s dietician, Christina Rescki.
“Wellness is very important to the families in the community and that’s why we decided to use the space and resources we have to assess their health,” said Rescki. “The event went really well, and we hope to have even more vendors and organizations join us in the future.”
The health of the youngest members of the family was addressed first. At Scrunchy’s Playhouse, there was a table set that displayed an organic children’s cereal. Samples and coupons were offered to customers.
A bone density screening was offered by Overlook Medical Center. Registered Nurse, Angela Adams, suggested that customers fifty and older have their bone density tested by measuring the heel bone. She also recommended people with a history of osteoporosis in the family get tested.
“The test is an ultrasound that looks at the heel bone to determine bone density,” she said. “This will give the person an idea of their risk for fracture.”
Katherine Ferguson, a health educator from Overlook Community Health Department, used a derma view machine to offer customers a look under the surface of their skin. It revealed any sun damage on the face by appearing as freckles in the mirror. She explained what precautions should be taken to prevent skin cancer.
“Sunscreen should be worn in the summer and winter,” she said. “This machine gives people an idea of how well they are applying their sunscreen and what areas of the face need any extra attention.”
A few students from Rutgers School of Dentistry advertised their learning facility in Scotch Plains, where people without dental insurance can go for their dental needs. It’s open three days per week, with openings on Saturday morning and Wednesday night to accommodate everyone’s schedule. The hygienist students also have an opportunity to practice their skills and learn about the field of dentistry while gaining the experience they need for their careers.
“The facility is a great place to go for dental work because we provide the best care for affordable prices,” said Veronica Scott, a student hygienist.
“I used to go to a very good dentist, but it cost me $200,” said Terri Weinstein of Westfield. “I need to go every few months. The school of dentistry provided affordable, good care. I only paid $16 for a visit and eight dollars for x-rays. You can’t find that kind of responsive, affordable care anywhere else.”
For future health fairs, the store hopes more vendors and organizations will join the event. There were a few gyms advertising as well as cancer organizations and a physical therapy center. Early detection was the message the cancer centers were sending to customers.
“For future events, I would like to invite organizations that support diabetes and heart
disease,” said Rescki. “These are all products and offerings that I support. In the future, I hope to have more resources to meet the health needs of all our customers.”