Letter To The Editor: Heart Council Expresses Thanks

By PHIL GURSKY, President
Los Alamos Heart Council

The 30th annual Los Alamos Heart Council Health Fair, held at Griffith Gymnasium Saturday, Sept. 26, was a tremendous success! We had more than 2,000 attendees. There were more than 70 exhibitors representing a wide range of health-related organizations from Los Alamos and surrounding communities.

Approximately 800 flu shots were administered and hundreds of blood draws taken, as well as many other health screenings. With this year’s emphasis on children and families, hundreds more parents and children attended than ever before. More than 150 free bike helmets were given out at the Fair and, in a new program, an additional 60 helmets will be given directly to elementary and pre-schools in Los Alamos. Hundreds of free children’s backpacks we given out, as well.

The Health Fair is only possible with the support of many organizations, a large number of volunteers, and the broader community.  The Heart Council (a United Way community partrner) particularly wishes to thank the Los Alamos Medical Center, which co-sponsors and assists by covering the costs associated with flu shots, discounted blood work and funding some of the advertising.

Thanks, especially to Mary Beth Maassen for all of her assistance and coordination. We thank the phlebotomists from the LAMC blood lab for blood draws, nurses from many departments and other physician’s offices to keep the flu shot lines moving quickly and to the many LAMC Auxiliary volunteers (pink ladies) who assist on the day of the Fair.

The staff from Medical Associates of Northern New Mexico also are invaluable in coordinating the blood draws. For all of the children’s backpacks and health information, we thank Andrea Cunningham and the Los Alamos office of the State Department of Health.

Los Alamos Monitor did a great job of publishing and distributing our annual Health Fair guide; KRSN supports the Health Fair through their on-air interview and onsite remote broadcast and Public Service and the Los Alamos Daily Post provides much publicity about the Fair and its activities. Thanks to the Tuff Riders for help in fitting the bike helmets for the kids; to Melanie Chapman from the Family YMCA who helped organize and sponsor the Children’s HeartSmart Poster contest; and to Dave Delanoy who prepares our Booth Maps and Vendor Directories.

A special thanks goes to Kristy Vigil at the Los Alamos Public Schools rentals office and to the Los Alamos High School personnel who assist in setting up the gymnasium before the Health Fair and in cleaning up. 

We always appreciate the time and dedication of our exhibitors, many of whom come every year. And, finally, thanks are due to the many members of the community who attend the Health Fair and make it all worthwhile.

We look forward to seeing you next year, at the 31th annual Los Alamos Heart Council Health Fair, which will be held at Griffith Gymnasium in the fall of 2016.


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