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Wapello County Health Fair Returns Saturday

By Nick Davis, April 20, 2017

Garret Ross with the Ottumwa YMCA is always a busy guy, but the staff at the Y has been even busier this week preparing for the Wapello County Health Fair.

The annual event is held this Saturday starting at 7:00 in the morning and ending at noon.

Activities include a pancake breakfast, a youth hike for health, more than 25 vendors, inexpensive blood testing and this year features a 5K walk to wrap up the day.

The pancake breakfast begins at 7:00 and runs for the first three hours of the event. Plates cost $3 each or $10 for a family up to five. The pancake breakfast serves as a fundraiser for the empowered youth sports program, a program for children with special needs and abilities.

The YMCA Hike for Health is an event aimed at youth in Ottumwa. Participants will walk one lap in the YMCA gym for each year of their age. They get a choice of freebies when completing their laps.

Hy-Vee will have their Health You Mobile RV parked in front of the YMCA. Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles provide a way for Hy-Vee dietitians and pharmacists to reach customers across the Midwest by offering biometric screenings, flu vaccinations, nutritional information, cooking demonstrations, food samples and much more.

Blood testing will also be provided once again this year. Ross says the blood tests cost $30, a $5 increase over last year. However, he says the cost is small compared to getting the tests done in a hospital. “We perform 25 tests for $30. If you went to the doctor to get these test you would end up paying over $400,” Ross told Ottumwa Radio News.

Those who want to participate in the blood draw need to contact Linelle Deers at Wapello County Public Health to sign up. Deers can be contacted at 641-682-5434. The blood draw requires participants to fast for 12 hours before their blood is drawn.

The event wraps up at noon at the YMCA, but Ross says that Active Ottumwa has plans for a walking 5K after the health fair. “Gene Rathje will lead the 5K walk. It’s not a race, but we’ll be walking down Madison Avenue toward John Deere. They get onto the Ottumwa Trail System and walk the John Deere Loop before coming back to the Y.”

Adults who participate in the 5K walk will get a free Active Ottumwa t-shirt.

The YMCA will be open for regular usage during the health fair, however the gym will be in use for the fair. The free event also features healthy demonstrations such as Dizercize with Dizzy the Clown and performances by Dance Expressions.

Sponsors include Ottumwa Regional Health Center, Pella Regional Health Center, United healthcare Community Plan, River Hills Community Health Center, All Ages Pediatrics and Wapello County Public Health.

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