REA sponsors health fair at Agriplex 

By Stephanie Wilson 
Posted 3/13/24

WHEATLAND — Wellness was the keyword of the day at the REA Health Fair. Platte County Public Health, Legacy Home, Platte County CARES, and …

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REA sponsors health fair at Agriplex 


WHEATLAND — Wellness was the keyword of the day at the REA Health Fair. Platte County Public Health, Legacy Home, Platte County CARES, and Wyoming Health Fairs organization were on hand with educational materials and interactions, complimentary blood draws, and blood pressure checks. 

A luncheon was also held for REA members, provided by the 4-H Leadership Board. When asked what was being served for lunch, Sharon Utter of the 4-H Leadership Board said, “Beef! What else?” Thrifty Foods oversaw cooking the roast beef. 

Platte County Public Health staff Penny Simonton, Nurse Manager, Vaccine Coordinator Nichole Drescher and MHC nurse Brook Gudahl, conducted complimentary blood pressure checks while also sharing information about RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) vaccines for adults. 

“We also let people know that we have complimentary self-operating blood pressure cuffs that they can take home to monitor their blood pressure,” Drescher said. “They are very easy to use, and people can view and/or record their results as often as they want to, whether it is hourly, a couple times a day, or once a day.” 

Other adult immunizations available at Platte County Public Health include Shingrix (for shingles), TDAP, Prevnar 20, COVID, and flu. A variety of other services are available through Public Health such as diabetes education and Hemoglobin A1C testing. The mission of Public Health is to prevent disease and injury, promote health lifestyles, protect overall community health and to prepare citizens for emergencies or threats to their way of life. 

Platte County CARES prevention specialist Anne Petroski also shared materials and information on how to safely dispose of medications using the Deterra® pouches, designed to deactivate drugs and permanently destroy over the counter and prescribed medications. These pouches were handed out for use with instructions on proper disposal. 

According to Petroski, there are locations in Wheatland to safely drop off the pouches or other medications. 

“We have a drop box at the sheriff’s department and at South Street Pharmacy,” she said. “It is so important to safely remove unused medications from the home. Some people leave medications out on a counter or table, and children could have access to that. Others, who are seeking drugs in other ways, will go to great lengths to acquire prescription medications, especially opioids and pain medications.” Petroski described some drug-seeking behavior that includes going through people’s garbage cans or even cat litter to find drugs and medications that have just been thrown out in the trash. The Deterra® pouch not only provides a sealed method of disposal, but when properly used, the contents of the pouch destroy the medication disabling its properties. Further disposal in safe drop boxes at the aforementioned locations keeps items out of anyone’s reach. 

Legacy Home was also on hand to highlight services provided that include Occupational Therapy that is offered not only to Legacy Home residents, but to anyone referred by their health care provider, physician, or surgeon to therapy following surgery, a stroke, or other falls and injuries. 

“We have seen some real success stories come out of our Occupational Therapy program,” Legacy Home medical records and scheduling coordinator Virginia Corbett said. “We have even seen high school athletes come through following a sports injury-related surgery.” 

Speech and Language Pathology therapy is also available through Legacy Home to address communication difficulties; improving a patient’s ability to read, write, and verbally communicate. Other 

skills are also emphasized in this therapy such as memory, concentration, money management, and functional problem solving. 

“A referral is required by a health care provider to participate in occupational therapy at Legacy Home if one is not a resident,” Sherri Norton said. “We have a separate, exterior entrance for those patients if they do not want to enter through the Legacy Home main entrance.” Norton is responsible for Human Resources and Marketing at Legacy Home. 

WHF (Wyoming Health Fairs) conducted blood draws at the event. These screenings are important in gaining an overall wellness profile by featuring a blood chemistry panel which looks at heart, kidney, and liver functions as well as a lipid panel, total cholesterol, HDL (good), LDL (bad) and triglycerides. The chemistry panel can determine electrolyte levels, protein and iron, fasting glucose, and TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) as well as uric acid and Carbon Dioxide. WHF instructed members that blood panel results would be available on their website within three to five business days, or mailed within seven days, as emails are not shared for lab results. WHF is a non-profit organization that provides low-coast blood screenings and wellness programs. 

The health fair was followed by a luncheon and business meeting for REA members and staff.