Doctors work to educate patients during weekend event

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The 11th annual St. Bernards Health and Fitness Expo took place at the First National Bank Arena on Saturday.

Dr. Devi Nair says the event is a huge opportunity for the community.

"We do a large number of free health screenings," Dr. Nair said. "Those screenings include weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, hearing, vision, and others. So, this is a great event for the community to come out here. We have physician panels where you can interact with your physicians, ask questions. We have cooking demos throughout the weekend. So, this is happening today and tomorrow."

19-year-old Hannah Jones attended the event with her mother.

Jones said she's attending school at ASU-Newport.

"I spoke to one of the doctors and nurses," Jones said. "I've decided I want to change my career to an anesthesiologist. I got my eyes checked and I might be getting contacts. You can learn a lot of different things and new topics and might find something you're really interested in doing."

Dr. Nair said the event is priceless.

"This is an opportunity," Dr. Nair said. "To come out and interact with a lot of specialties in medicine. A lot of physicians who are spending their weekend here devoting the time to improve the health of this community. So, come out here and interact with those physicians. Interact with those people who help take care of you in the hospital. And get all the important information that will improve your health."

Lydia Parkey with St. Bernards said it's important to the physicians that this event continues.

"It's really important to the physicians at St. Bernards that we keep this going and that it be free to the public," Parkey said. "Because we really want people to easily access these free screenings and all this health information. We know better than anyone that coming into a hospital or clinic can be scary. And so we want this environment to be easy to get to. We want folks to have fun and to learn something and we want them to take advantage of the free screenings."

Dr. Nair said on Sunday they will be screening athletes.

"We are offering," Dr. Nair said. "A very comprehensive free participation physical for our student-athletes. So, we'll be screening these kids for their weight, blood pressure, their general medicine screening, their muscular skeletal. And our kids that are going ninth through twelfth grade. We're getting an electro cordial screening, so they can play their sports safe and we can keep our community safe."

Parkey said it doesn't matter where you are in your health journey.

There's something for you at the Expo, Parkey said.

"We have hearing, dental and vision screenings," Parkey said. "We have three dermatologists doing skin cancer screenings right now. The blood draw is a full work up. We have two heart screenings, foot screenings. . .you name it, we've got it."

Parkey said the event takes only a small amount of your time and can make all the difference in your health.

"You don't have anything to lose and you have everything to gain," Parkey said. "Worst case scenario you lose thirty minutes to an hour of your time. Best case scenario, you let us screen you for skin cancer or draw your blood and we'll send you those results and you find out something is off and we can catch it before it's a major issue."

Admission to the event is free as are all the health screenings. The Expo will be open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about St. Bernards, click here.

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