Lunchtime in Wilson Hall last Thursday brought more to hungry employees than sushi and Southwestern turkey wraps. Table displays representing 17 health organizations filled the Wilson Hall Atrium for the Fermilab Health Fair as doctors, nurses, health educators and masseuses offered free information and health checks to passerby.
Some Fermilab employees wandered from table to table, filling their hands with fliers. Others took a more hands-on approach by sacrificing their fingers for a cholesterol check pinprick or sitting down for a lengthy back massage. On the West side of the atrium, Randy King rode his bike at 16 mph on a set of stationary rollers while advocating the Fox Valley Bicycle & Ski Club, and doctors from Hinley Chiropractic Center performed nervous system tests.
Bernie Dugan, of Laboratory Services, originated the fair in 1993. With the help of the Wellness Committee, she has held the reigns for the mostly annual event ever since.
Eileen Berman, of the Computing Division, had her cholesterol checked at the fair. "It may not be a full-blown medical exam, but they may be able to alert you that you should go to a doctor and then really have it checked out," she said.
The fair also exposes employees to aspects of health they're not familiar with, said Bill Hallow, of the Midwest Center for Sleep Disorders. Many people are unaware of sleep disorders and their dangers, Hallow said. For instance, sleep apnea, which causes the throat to become blocked for short periods during sleep, often is linked to hypertension and heart disease.
"Rather than waiting for someone to develop heart disease or have the stroke, we treat the cause, sleep apnea, to prevent the symptoms from occurring," Hallow said.