By Kate Forand, AmeriCorps member at Garfield County Hospital District
With the warm weather upon us, there’s more than just barbeques and camping in the forecast, but community events to promote health and well-being! Here in Pomeroy, June has been full of activities for community members of all ages to learn about healthy living, support breast cancer awareness, and see what services are available in our community. Here are some highlights!
The month started off with the Tumbleweed Festival, an annual event that brings the whole town together through a variety of events, including a flea market, car show, and parade. Volunteers from Garfield County Hospital set up a table for visitors to mingle with staff, have their blood pressure taken, complete a survey about community wellness, and take brochures on various health conditions. Those who filled out our survey, which we hope will give us preliminary data on what the community would like to see for wellness programs, were entered in a raffle to win a blood pressure machine or scale. When we informed our lucky winner about the new blood pressure machine he won, he could hardly contain his excitement and we were certainly happy to help him out!
This past week the Quality Behavioral Health summer youth program came to Pomeroy for a day to learn about healthy living. About 60 middle-school aged youths from Lewiston, Clarkston, and Pomeroy participate in this 7-week program which teaches kids about topics like bullying, healthy eating, and teen dating while engaging in fun activities. In this week’s session, youths came to Pomeroy to learn about healthy eating, physical activity, and how methadone affects your body. I held a session on physical activity and taught the group how to take their pulse and how different levels of intensity can impact our heart rate. We concluded the group by practicing a few different yoga poses and deep breathing exercises. The group found it “pretty cool” how they could feel their pulse and how it increased after running in place or doing jumping jacks.
On June 23rd, the annual Susan G. Komen Walk for Breast Cancer took place at the City Park. Each year the Garfield County Public Health Department receives grant funding from Susan G. Komen and the Sheppard Foundation to make this event a success. The evening involved an opening speaker, 2 and 3 mile walk/run, raffle prizes and concludes with a barbeque. The event had over 50 participants, most wearing pink, and exhibited just how this community comes together in support of breast cancer awareness.
Lastly, June will end with our monthly diabetic support group. Pomeroy Medical Clinic provider Lisa Barnes, ARNP will give a presentation on how to manage high blood pressure and cholesterol before you have to take medication.
As we move into July, the hospital sponsored “Fourth of July in the Park” will take place. We anticipate planning for some more exciting community wellness events throughout the rest of the year to promote healthy living for residents of Pomeroy!