Last updated: September 08. 2013 10:45PM - 170 Views

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Health concerns facing everyone from teenagers to senior citizens will be addressed Monday at a free public health fair.

The event will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Thompson Conference Center in the Heckart Science and Allied Health Center at State Fair Community College.

Twenty-three nursing students at SFCC have been working since the beginning of the semester on their presentations. They had to choose their topic from Healthy People 2020 and show how these national goals could be addressed at the local level.

“Each student has worked really hard to find resources in the community where people can go locally. We personalize this health fair for our community,” said Erin Wilson, nursing instructor at SFCC.

Brooke Allee, of Sedalia, chose to focus on smoking cessation.

“A lot of the patients I have taken care of at the hospital have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” she said.

Smoking plays a role in the disease.

She wants to introduce people to Clean Air Sedalia, a group that promotes smoke-free indoor air facilities and tobacco-free lifestyles.

“They have great information about quitting,” Allee said.

She plans to share information on different ways to quit, why that is important to overall health and what businesses don’t allow smoking, which lessens the temptation.

Megan Salyer, of Whiteman Air Force Base, will speak about teen pregnancy prevention.

“It’s considered one of the top five problems in Pettis County,” Salyer said. “I was a teen mom myself. It can affect education levels, which can contribute to poverty levels, which the county has.”

She plans to share facts and statistics such as how much it costs to raise a child, emotional consequences of having a baby and the importance of abstinence or birth control. She has also learned some parents want to speak with their children about teen pregnancy but don’t know what to say. She has some information to distribute that may facilitate those conversations. Her main goal is to make people aware of how big the problem is in Pettis County.

Amanda Stevens, of Mayview, chose depression in adolescents. She suffered from depression for several years and hopes to make the public more aware of signs and symptoms to look for and where they can get help.

“I think it’s kind of overlooked. I think it’s more seen as they are just being a teenager,” she said.

She doesn’t believe if a teen is depressed they should automatically be put on medication. Sometimes diet and exercise can help. She has information about this

to distribute.

Alexis Borowick, of Sweet Springs, would like to see people get up and get moving. She is promoting physical activity. She is an active person herself and will try to get people to join the “Couch to 5K” program. This eight-week training course, offered by the Healthy Living Action Group, is designed to get participants to walk, jog or run a 5K.

“The end goal is to get them to participate in the Lub Dub Run, but they don’t have to,” she said.

The topics of diabetes, heart attack and stroke symptoms, cancer prevention, adolescent health (texting, drinking and driving), oral health, suicide prevention and bacterial food-borne illnesses will also be addressed. Free blood pressure screenings will be available.

“This is an awesome health fair if people can just get here,” said Wilson. “We’ve been doing this for years now. We would definitely like to see it broadened to a wider range of people.”

These students will graduate in May with associate degrees in nursing.

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