Wrangell’s health fair used to be a staple of springtime in the community. And after a three-year hiatus, it’s back.
Wrangell Medical Center Administrator Carly Allen says large group gatherings were put on hold during the height of the pandemic.
“Bringing it back here in 2023 lets us outreach to the community and really focus on health care outside of the COVID pandemic, which there’s been so much focus on the last couple years,” Allen explains, “So it’s really an opportunity to connect with people that may have put off health care during the pandemic and just refocus on generalized health care.”
Allen says the fair will highlight a variety of services offered by the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), which owns and operates Wrangell’s hospital, as well as other wellness and health-related community services.
Allen says there will be familiar Wrangell services at the fair as well as some new opportunities.
“Something new we’re doing this year is an interactive healthy foods demonstration, and we’ll also have our Registered Dietitian available to speak with the public,” Allen says. But it won’t be all new events: “A classic that we’re bringing back from years past is our Teddy Bear Clinic and that’s focused on our pediatric population and kiddos can bring their favorite stuffed animal in for a checkup,” she adds.
“There’s a lot of other booths,” Allen says, “But I don’t want to give everything away, but I encourage people to come out and check it out for themselves.”
Allen says SEARHC is also partnering with community health fairs in Juneau, Gustavus and Sitka this year.
“Health fairs are really unique to their community, and so they look different from place to place,” Allen says, “So communities that have historically done them in the past are moving forward this year with them.”
While Wrangell’s Health Fair has been on pandemic pause, the community’s Family Resilience Fair has filled in some of the gaps, advertising in-town services to support families and children. The Family Resilience Fair, where the health consortium sets up booths as well, will still take place in the fall.
Wrangell’s upcoming health fair is a joint event with the nonprofit Alaska Health Fair, Inc. Like Wrangell health fairs past, they’ll offer reduced-price blood draws for lab screening.
To schedule a blood draw at Wrangell’s Health Fair, visit AlaskaHealthFair.org.
Wrangell’s Community Health Fair is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Nolan Center downtown.
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