If health care information was available free of charge, wouldn’t you take advantage of it? Well you can by attending the Wharton County Health Fair Thursday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the El Campo Civic Center.

In her sixth year as chairman of this event, Donna Mikeska says attendance is usually around 400, but she would love to see more Wharton County residents take advantage of the free information offered by agencies in the area.

“My mission is to increase attendance,” Mikeska said. “We have so much valuable information ... if they come to the health fair, they’ll be better prepared. I can’t stress enough for people to be prepared and not wait until you’re in the middle of a crisis. The more educated you are about health care makes it easier to navigate. Learn about health care services in your community.”

Mikeska works with a small group of volunteers to bring in health care professionals and organizations for this event.

There will also be some added incentives for residents in Wharton County to attend she said.

“We are adding a couple of shopping vendors so they can have some fun shopping along the away,” Mikeska said.

This year there will be close to 50 health care organizations with booths set up for the event to offer free information. Some will even have free screenings for glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, a wound care presentation will be held from 1:15 - 1:45 p.m.

Other agencies and health organizations in attendance will include everything from veterans services, to pregnancy and parent education information. There will be information about health and nutrition, hurricane and flood recovery, mammograms and breast health, dermatology, hospice care, free legal services, foot care, counseling services, home health, nursing home and hospitals care, rehab services, cancer education and more.

New this year will be the Coffee with Cops event from 9 - 11 a.m. Those in attendance will be able to meet local law enforcement officers from both the Wharton and El Campo Police and EMS Departments, as well as those with the Texas Deparement of Public Safety and Texas Game Wardens and staff members.

Have a question about Medicare? Alejandra Rischan, benefits counselor with the Houston-Galveston Area Council on Aging, will be able to provide answers regarding Medicare benefits and how to choose the right plan.

Have some old medications you need to dispose of?

“Please don’t flush them down the toilet,” Mikeska said. “Once that is done, it gets into our water source, and that’s not a good thing.”

Instead, bring them to the health fair to be rid of properly as the El Campo Police Department will be accepting discarded medications, however there are some stipulations. Unacceptable items are needles, aerosol containers and liquid medications. But please bring any over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs that need disposing of.

In addition to health information, those attending can also enjoy a game or two of bingo, in which prizes will be given to winners. Games will start at 11 a.m.

Mikeska is planning to have a drawing for a sizable gift card, depending on finances.

“The amount will be determined by the proceeds. You’ll have to visit a certain number of booths to get signed off on,” she said, in order to be included in the drawing.

This year, proceeds from the event will be donated to two organizations, Houston Hospice El Campo and Wharton County SPOT.

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