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Planning a Health Fair: Setting Up Committees and Duties

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Clinical Subcommittee

Health professionals on the clinical subcommittee can help determine what is appropriate to include in a health fair for the target audience. Not all brochures, giveaways, or topics should be included. For example, giving away toys and games would not be appropriate for a health fair targeting baby boomers. 

Screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, etc. may be planned if appropriate for the target audience. Screenings are much more useful to people than a health risk appraisal.

If screenings are provided, the clinical subcommittee must help in determining appropriateness for the audience, finding appropriate providers, making sure universal precautions are followed, results are accurate, and participants are properly informed about results and provided with follow-up suggestions. Provisions must be made for situations when someone’s blood pressure or blood sugar is found to be dangerously high during the health fair—where can that person go for immediate help?

For these and many other reasons, having a clinical subcommittee is critical for a health fair.

Duties

  • Identify key health topics and booths for the target audience.
  • Determine the kinds of screenings/services for the target audience, such as,
    • blood cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides)
    • blood glucose
    • blood pressure
    • skin cancer
    • lung capacity
    • vision screening
    • glaucoma screening
    • hearing tests
    • foot
  • Plan and arrange for booths from agencies, such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, etc.
  • Plan and arrange for types of clinical staff, laboratory services, mammogram van or transportation to the location for mammograms such as a local hospital for clinic.
  • Plan for meeting universal precautions regarding drawing and handling blood, etc.
  • Plan for delivery of results to the participants.
  • Plan and arrange for treatment referrals for participants with abnormal results, both immediately and longer term (for example, if someone has a very high blood glucose or blood pressure, where can they be seen immediately?).
  • Define and review the kinds of health information, brochures, and giveaways appropriate for the target audience (for example, no small objects for young children or free drug samples, etc.).
  • Plan and arrange for “Ask a Doctor,” “Ask a Nurse,” “Ask a Podiatrist,” “Ask a Pharmacist,” etc. booths.
  • Plan for equipment needs, such as blood pressure cuffs including average adult’s and obese adult’s (the wrong sized cuff will give wrong results).
  • Plan for first aid needs during the health fair.
  • Provide information on actual costs for clinical services, such as the lab work provided to facilitate interpretation of the value of the health fair to the community.
  • Plan to protect confidentiality of participants regarding results.
    • Results only must be given to the individual participant.
    • No sign-up sheets identifying participants’ blood pressure, lab results, etc.
    • Results may never be delivered to the employer at a worksite or to an insurance company.
    • If height and weight are done, for example, it must be done so no one can even accidentally be made aware of someone else’s results—this is true for children as well as adults (Note: Determine BMI and explain meaning of results. To calculate BMI, go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s calculator at http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/. Another option for adults might be helping them calculate their waist-to-hip ratio).

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  • Montana State Library
  • P.O. Box 201800, 1515 East 6th Avenue
  • Helena, MT 59620-1800
  • Phone: (406) 444-3115
  • Fax: (406) 444-0266
  • msl.mt.gov