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Hospital foundation hosting spring health fair

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

The Southern Regional Medical Center Foundation will host the hospital's largest annual health fair this Saturday, giving local residents the chance to receive health information directly from the hospital's physicians.

For the first time, the hospital's "Spring into Healthy Living" event will be free of charge, and encompass men's health topics, in addition to women's health topics.

The fourth annual event will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m., at Southern Regional, inside both the Women's Life Center and the Educational Auditorium of the hospital, which is located at 11 Upper Riverdale Road, in Riverdale. The event will feature a variety of vendors, as well as seminars addressing bariatric treatment, heart and vascular health, women's health, arthritis treatment, pulmonary health and prostate health.

Southern Regional Medical Center Foundation Director Cynthia Jenkins said the foundation's Women Connecting Women committee has organized the health fair for the past few years as a way to raise money for the hospital while raising awareness about women's health. She said sponsorship, this year, has allowed the foundation to expand the fair's offerings and offer them for free.

"We're very excited," Jenkins said. "It shows that the corporate sponsors realize the importance of sharing information. In the past, Women Connecting Women health fairs basically revolved around women's health issues. For the first time, we are going to make sure that men are included in some of the health-care seminars. We wanted to make sure our men realized it was important for them to go to the doctor as well."

Jenkins said that during Saturday's health fair, physicians will oversee and make presentations at every seminar, and cover topics ranging from arterial vascular disease, to prostate cancer treatment, to body contouring and breast reconstruction. Visitors will have the chance to interact with doctors who perform procedures at the hospital, in a relaxed environment, she said.

"The public gets to see what type of outstanding physicians we have at Southern Regional Medical Center, and there's nothing like having that face being associated with that particular service line or practice," said Jenkins. "Doctors like to educate, they like to inform the community, and this gives them a way to present this information in a way that is helpful. It is a whole new way of interacting with your physicians."

For $5 and $10 tickets, visitors will have the chance to participate in a raffle for prizes such as free round-trip airfare on AirTran Airways, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tickets, and spa treatments. Proceeds from the event will go toward purchasing upgrades to the hospital's da Vinci Surgical System, a surgical robot that executes minimally invasive procedures.

Southern Crescent Hospital for Specialty Care, a long-term, acute-care hospital located on the sixth floor of Southern Regional, is the primary sponsor for this year's health fair. Southern Crescent Hospital Administrator Jan Hamilton-Crawford said the health fair complements the hospital's goal of improving community health.

"The mission of Southern Crescent Hospital is to serve a broader base of the community," Hamilton-Crawford said. "We really have to take ownership of our health. The more people that we can reach out to and talk about healthy living, the better served we will all be."

To register for the event, call (770) 909-2311 or visit www.southernregional.org/about-us/foundation.