Health fair sticks flu in its sights

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Sam Chase didn’t have long to be nervous at Thursday’s Live Well Health Fair.
The Belden 6-year-old got a little teary watching another child protest his flu shot, but within five minutes Sam was done and watching big brother Ryan, 8, and dad Gene get theirs at the annual health fair sponsored by North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.
The Chases were among the nearly 2,000 people who had received free flu shots by 3 p.m. at the Tupelo Furniture Market. When the fair ended at 7 p.m., 4,647 people had received shots from the 7,000 doses on hand.
“It’s been steady,” said Liz Dawson, director of community health for North Mississippi Medical Center. “We’ve had a lot of help.”
The local District II office brought 65 employees the Mississippi Department of Health to help administer the shots. Most came from Northeast Mississippi, but some hailed from Jackson and even McComb.
Brenda Orr of Una came for the flu shot, but stayed for the health information and screenings handed out at 55 different booths.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” said Orr, who heard about the health fair from her work supervisor. “Some things I already new, but I learned about BMI and diabetic shoes.”
Diabetes educator Kitti Parman, who is a registered nurse, said they were pleased by the interest in blood sugar screening. By 2 p.m., they had already tested 200 people.
“We found several people who didn’t know they had diabetes who were definitely out of the (appropriate) range,” Parman said.

Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.