Free Frankford Health Fair this weekend aims for wellness

Whether people are looking for a free flu shot or free lunch, the Frankford Health Fair will offer both, and more, when it returns to the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall on Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 4.

“We’ve been doing this one for several years, and each year it gets bigger and better,” said Megan Williams of Beebe Healthcare’s Population Health Department.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., people of all ages can get free screenings for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, bone density and body mass index (BMI).

They can also find more about all kinds of Delaware health programs, including the division of Public Health, American Heart Association, La Red Health Center, Easter Seals and AARP driver safety.

Sussex County Emergency Medical Services will teach a new form of CPR, which only involves compressions, which Williams called “more effective at preventing death from the heart stopping.”

People without health insurance can learn more about different coverage programs with a marketplace guide (not a salesperson, but a guide to teach people their options).

“It’s exciting for us to be able to have that service at the fair. We’re always looking for access to people who don’t have access to health screenings,” Williams said. “We’ll have experts right on site to connect them to [screenings and health coverage].”

Williams said she is excited to have Recovery Innovations, a psychiatric and behavioral health provider, to provide information on issues such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

“I think it’s, unfortunately, an area we overlook,” she said. “We don’t have a lot of resources around here in Sussex County,” she added, or they’re not well-known. “The more visibility and normalization in and around that type of care, the healthier our community will be.”

Sometimes when people have serious health conditions, it can occur at the same time as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, she noted. That makes treatment harder.

“If you have diabetes and you also have depression, you’re less likely to watch your diet, get the exercise you need and maybe adhere to the medicine regimen you were prescribed,” Williams said.

Representatives of Beebe’s Tunnel Cancer Center, diabetes and wound care centers will also be present.

Parents can keep their children healthy and thinking with Telamon and Parents as Teachers. Plus, Frankford Public Library will have fun activities for kids.

“We want to try to get out ahead of chronic illness and disease,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, the health care system in the U.S. has been more reactive the past few decades.

“We’re trying to, as a country, move to a more proactive approach than an reactive approach,” which Williams called “a very costly approach with a high level of mortality.”

As a community hospital, Williams said Beebe aims to demonstrate high-value, quality care in a “healthcare system that will be sustainable for many years to come.”

People attending the fair can also grab light sandwiches, coffee, water or fruit.

Lots of free goodies will be given away, and there will be a drawing for an iPad mini.

Beebe’s Department of Population Health will host nearly 100 community events this year, providing more than 10,000 immunizations and health screenings.