4800 attend Health & Fitness Fair

March 11, 2019

NNRH staff, volunteers and GBC nursing students prepare for a busy day at the 2019 Health and Fitness Fair.

ELKO, Nevada – Morning snow flurries didn’t keep Elko County residents from venturing out to the Convention Center for the annual Health and Fitness Fair on Saturday. Approximately 4,800 people attended the event which was sponsored by Ruby Radio Corporation and Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital.

“I was worried that folks might stay home because of the snow, but I should have known better,” said Steve Burrows, NNRH director of community relations, as he surveyed the crowd. “Elkoans are tough, and they genuinely care about their health.”

The hospital once again provided a free blood draw and lab work at the event. This year, 722 people participated in the blood draw, compared to 679 in 2018 and 472 in 2017.

“I think people are learning about the value of these labs,” Burrows said of the increased participation. “We’re seeing folks in their 30s and 40s coming through the line, not just our senior population. That’s really encouraging because, hopefully, getting blood work done now can help people avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.”

Jennifer Koopman, director of growth and outreach at NNRH, agreed that blood work can provide valuable health information, as long as individuals share their results with a doctor.

“We strongly encourage all of the participants in the blood draw to follow-up with a primary care physician. The free screenings we’re offering are really meant to start a conversation between you and your doctor,” Koopman stated.

In addition to the free blood draw, NNRH also sponsored a Kids Zone where younger attendees could learn about healthy habits. New this year was a Jump Rope Challenge, presented in partnership with the American Heart Association and the Kids Heart Challenge.

“We’re so happy to have Jeannie Baumann here from Mountain View Elementary,” Burrows said. “Jeannie leads the Kids Heart Challenge program at the school, and she is passionate about youth staying active and healthy. It’s wonderful to see the community getting involved in this event,” Burrows remarked.

The theme of community involvement continued with Koopman.

“We’re very thankful to once again have the nursing students from Great Basin College working alongside us today,” Koopman said. She went on to explain that the students were presenting community education as part of their own course work.

“It’s great experience for them on their road to becoming health care professionals,” Koopman stated. “We really value our partnership with GBC.”

“An event like this requires a big team to put on,” Burrows concluded. “We’re grateful for all of these partners, as well as our hospital auxiliary and our amazing volunteers. Each year, the people of Elko turn out for the Health and Fitness Fair in a huge way. We feel honored to play a role in increasing the overall health of our community.”

Children participate in the Jump Rope Challenge as part of the Healthy Habits Kids Zone at the 2019 Health & Fitness Fair.