June 12, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON - When the West Essex YMCA sought to host a health fair for the benefit of the community, various key service providers stepped up to offer complimentary health screenings, free giveaways, workshops and lectures to Livingston families. Tables were set up throughout the facility for participants to learn their individual crucial health numbers like blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate and body mass index.
Health Enhancement Director Barbara Santola and her department employees designed the health fair after local health care professionals approached them about speaking to YMCA members. Santola said the fair was a way to get all of the professionals in one place so that they could meet community members and offer guidance.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center sent a team of health professionals to provide health screenings for individuals looking to learn about preventative health practices. For some, learning their numbers allowed them to see where they might be at risk. Some screenings allowed existing health concerns to surface.
“It’s so important for everyone to practice preventative health,” Cardiac Rehab Nurse Mary Pfister said. “If you go to screenings like this you might even find something and do something about it.”
In addition to these screenings, three one-hour lectures were offered to anyone interested in learning about a specific health care practice. The lectures included a lung cancer screening workshop by Roland Romano at 12:30 p.m., a chiropractic health and nutrition talk by Daniella D’Alessio at 1:30 p.m. and a workshop by Alzheimer and Dementia Coach Kerry Mills at 2:30 p.m.
“The most important thing about this health fair is to educate the community on the different resources we have available to help them either identify or prevent disease,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Roland Romano.
Romano held a workshop to enlighten his listeners about lung cancer screenings and identified whether they were eligible to register for a screening. This workshop was designed to be beneficial to those who have spent any of their lives around smoke.
Dr. Daniella M. D’Alessio, a local chiropractic physician, spoke to community members about the Advanced Chiropractic Rehab Center, located in Caldwell, NJ. She said the Center offers integrated therapies for whole body health by combining evidence-based Chiropractic treatment, rehabilitation and the wellness lifestyle.
“It’s important to have knowledge about your health care,” D’Alessio said. “This health fair gives you info about you current health condition so that you know what to do about prevention and overall wellness.”
Prior to the Chiropractic Health workshop, D’Alessio and her partner Dr. Geoffrey E. Bossio gave out brochures with a free “new patient consultation and examination” as well as a free sample of Biofreeze.
Young Living Essential Oils was also a popular stand at the day’s event, where participants were able to create their own fragrance. Individuals chose between the available fragrances in order to create their own Essential Oil Floral Sprays including perfume, natural bug spray and a cooling mist for hot days.
The professionals present at the event were adamant about making the importance of knowing your numbers an essential takeaway for the day. But aromatherapy, chiropractic health and massage therapy were also highlighted as crucial avenues to overall wellness. To this note, local massage therapist Barbara Parzatka gave complementary massages to those who came.
“There is not a single study that’s been done that doesn’t confirm the benefits from massage therapy,” Parzatka said. “Massage therapy lowers blood pressure, lowers heart rate, decreases stress murmurs, calms you down and detoxifies you.”
Parzatka had one of the more popular tables, not only for the complementary massages but also because she offered a $60 one-hour special for any new patients. Residing nearby on Eagle Rock Avenue, Parzatka had many takers.
Sunday’s health fair was another successful way to follow up on the YMCA’s mission to enlighten the community on the benefits of health and wellness, while creating a social environment for all ages and abilities.
“My favorite thing about the Y is how they don’t discriminate about anyone here,” Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Francione said. “The Y brings all of the communities' cultures together.”