Wellness Fair offered info, networking

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Tracey Pullum, an ophthalmic technician with the Advanced Eyecare Clinic, displays a book on such medical service.

The "Wellness Fair" at Columbia State Community College last weekend provided visitors with information and the participants an opportunity to become aware of other health services.

"Being there, I learned ... that we have a Child Development Center," said Melissa Borel with the Pregnancy Resource Center, "and now I'm able to refer a mother with a child with disabilities there.

"We did get to meet the other people and ask about what they do," Borel said, acknowledging that the fair was like an informal professional conference for people like her and others attending.

Substantiating the point is Tracey Pullum, an ophthalmic technician with the Advanced Eyecare Clinic at 1250 S. Ellington Parkway.

"I enjoyed talking with Beth Dault from NHC about what they do for patients ... that they're hiring and ... people should go there for training to get Certified Nurse Assistant training," Pullum said.

"I'm happy where I'm at, but it's also good to be able to pass that along to somebody else, " she continued. "There was good networking."

Meanwhile, Linda Tift of Chapel Hill is a member of the Middle Tennessee Dental Mental Health Committee. It's a group of citizens who are concerned for people with mental illness and work to provide them with dental care.

"It makes it hard for people to get jobs if their teeth don't look good," Tift said. "Sometimes we find out that their medicine contributes to dry mouth."

That prevents saliva from dealing with plaque.

As a result of such concerns, the committee has members who've decided to go to health fairs in different communities to tell about their work.

Borel, the counselor with the Pregnancy Resource Center, went for similar reasons.

"A lot of people are not aware we are here," she said.

While she didn't talk directly to a young woman facing difficult circumstances, Borel said, "I spoke with people who know a teenager who's pregnant and they wanted to give them information."

The Pregnancy Resource Center has been in Lewisburg for nearly a decade to educate young people about various options, she said.

"We do not promote abortion," Borel said. "If they come in and ask about it we tell them, but we also tell them what it does to their body and to them emotionally.

"They're allowed to make their own choice," she said. "We just educate them."

In connection with parenting classes, the center explains the stages of the child and it has a program so an expectant mother may buy clothes and other items from a clothes closet that includes maternity and baby clothes.

"We give the girls information about adoption," Borel said. "We do not ask them about abortion. We don't refer for that. We give reference to adoption agencies.

"We also go to the schools to promote abstinence" and they tell about sexually transmitted diseases, she said. "We are a non-profit agency and receive no government funding."

Pullum, the technician with the Advanced Eyecare Clinic, obtained a great deal of information about health and nutrition and saw a display about fast-food hamburgers.

The burger on display is one-year-old and has no mold, apparently because of preservatives.

"That was pretty interesting," Pullum said, although she will continue to eat hamburger and emphasized: "I prefer my own."

Advanced Eyecare Clinic Dr. Jeffrey L. Jordan is an optometrist and the clinic has a specialist available once a month.

"We don't necessarily specialize in children's care, but Dr. Jordan has children and is real good with young patients," she said.

Pullum emphasized the clinic's "friendly home-town service," adding "Most of us have been here long enough so that we have already known a good portion of our patients."

Becky Jameson, manager of the Child Development Center at 1600 Jason Maxwell Blvd., said the center serves "kids who sign up for health screening. We work with ages newborn to three years with special needs such as Down Syndrome, spina bifida, and delays in understanding speech and being able to talk."

Also displaying products and services were representatives from:

* Maury Regional Hospital -- Body mass index measurements were provided and blood pressure readings were conducted.

* Juice Plus -- Products and clinical research were offered and explained.

* The American Cancer Society -- The organization's annual Relay for Life will be on June 19 in Lewisburg.