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Flu shots, screenings and more offered at Health & Wellness Fair 

By Garrett Elder

Area residents can get free flu shots and a variety of health screenings, stock up on winter clothes and grab lunch Saturday at the Wingate University Health & Wellness Fair. The event, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Monroe Middle School, is hosted by the University, the middle school’s Health Sciences Academy and the nonprofit Heart for Monroe. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the sponsor.

“Our goal for the day is simple — we want to connect families with as many of the health resources that our community offers as we can,” said Dr. Carolyn Ford, a pharmacy professor and the University’s director of community healthcare outreach. She said Union County Health Services will provide interpreters to help extend services to Spanish-speakers. 

Among the 58 exhibitors at the fair will be a number of booths operated by Wingate health sciences students. Future physician assistants will give oral health screenings to adults and children while physical therapy students offer balance screenings and spread the word about their pro bono clinic. 

Nursing students will provide vision screening for all ages, check blood pressure for adults and help children assemble healthy snacks and make their own stress balls. Students in Wingate’s newest health science program, occupational therapy, will give advice to help fair-goers get a good night’s sleep.

Wingate pharmacy students are set to host several booths at which they will provide education on breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, kidney health, hypertension, over-the-counter medications and more.

The Closet, a ministry of Heart for Monroe, will host a clothing give-away at the event. A Heart for Monroe partner church will provide a hotdog lunch to attendees. And the Health Fair will also feature a kids zone activity area, a raffle and a limited quantity of tote bags. All services are free of charge.

Nov. 15, 2019