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Hospital health fair draws crowd for flu shots, info

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital continued a tradition of educating community members about various health and lifestyle topics during their annual health fair on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Approximately 40 booths from the hospital and local organizations such as Aroostook County Action Program, the Aroostook Mental Health Center, Aroostook Agency on Aging and Northern Maine Community College’s nursing program filled the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center.

Guests visited the booths and learned about hospital services, how to stay physically and emotionally healthy, the effects of smoking and vaping, resources available to senior citizens, car seat safety and opportunities for community volunteerism. Gould employees offered free flu shots, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings.

“This is all about community education,” said Karen Gonya, A.R. Gould communications manager. “We want to give people the resources that will empower them to take steps to improve their health.”

Many booths offered games and activities for children. Brother and sister Pippin, 7, and Piper Smith, 6, of Mars Hill eagerly showed off LEGO sets to their grandmother, Molly Shaw, also of Mars Hill, after winning the prizes from a rubber duck game.

“They learn something a little different at each station,” Shaw said about her grandchildren. “They got to watch me have my blood pressure taken, so they learned more about that.”

Jean Churchill of Presque Isle also attended the health fair and said that she looks forward to the event every year.

“Everyone here is so nice and I learn something new every time,” Churchill said. “People should come and check out what’s happening in the community.”

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