GOSHEN — Near rows of vendors selling fried Oreos, funnel cakes and nachos dripping with cheese, health experts from two hospitals set up shop this week at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
Elkhart General Hospital and IU Health Goshen Hospital set up booths each day for fairgoers get cholesterol tests, blood pressure checks, skin cancer screenings, exercise demonstrations and other health assessments.
“We can capture a lot of people in one spot and offer some good health information for them in a casual, comfortable space for free,” said Brenda Miller, community outreach coordinator at IU Health Goshen. “People are asking about our services, and sometimes if it’s something we don’t offer, it might be something we can think about for the future. People also want to know about a lot of services that we’re not providing here at the fair, like our mammograms.”
One of the most popular activities at EGH’s tent was an interactive exhibit Saturday, July 20, that simulated cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival.
“When they entered the exhibit, we gave them a lanyard and assigned them a character with a bio,” EGH spokeswoman Shelley Rody said. “For instance, we had ‘Fran’ who was a mother, age 49, loved to garden, had her likes and dislikes and a career. Each patient went through stations, like biopsy, treatment and survivorship, and the clinical staff chatted with them as if they were real cancer patients. It was very eye opening.”
The two hospitals will continue health tests Saturday, July 27, at the fair. IU Health Goshen will have diabetic foot screenings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., blood pressure tests from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and sleep health evaluations from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 3:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. The Goshen hospital’s tent is set up between the fair office and Young McDonald’s Farm and Youth Ag Center. EGH will have non-fasting blood glucose tests, blood pressure screenings and activities for kids and families from noon to 6 p.m. at its tent on Rotary Boulevard south of the dairy barn.