HMG Health & Fitness Expo 2011 is planned for Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17, at the Convocation Center on the Arkansas State University campus. Hands down, it’s the biggest health awareness event in the region.
“Our first Expo was more successful than we expected … and we expected a lot. We continue to refine the event and its activities, looking for ways to showcase what Northeast Arkansas has and at the same time delivering services to people in this region,” says Dr. William C. Young, Jonesboro otolaryngologist who serves as president of Healthcare Medical Group.
“This is the premiere health and fitness event in the area – the only one sponsored by such a large physician group – and we encourage residents to join us April 16 and 17. Take advantage of free health screenings, visit with HMG physicians, attend special panel discussions, pick up on healthy cooking tips, take part in some of the fitness events such as the half marathon, the 5K and the Ride for the Cure. Come out to see what’s new and let the entire family enjoy events.
“This HMG Health & Fitness Expo is a massive undertaking, and it’s all pulled together to encourage area residents to educate themselves about their health and what it takes to get healthy and stay that way. It’s our way of giving back, of making this a better place to live,” Young continues. “We hope to see an even larger public turnout this year.”
Over the two-day period, physicians and vendors of health and fitness services will be assembled under one roof. Area residents can take advantage of free health screenings offered by St. Bernards Medical Center as well as screenings offered by HMG physicians at individual clinic booths on Saturday. They can attend a variety of physician-led panel discussions. They can get information on hundreds of health and fitness services available in Jonesboro. And they can even visit with HMG physicians at their booths.
The doors will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Hours are 8 to 5 Saturday and 11 to 5 Sunday.
The kick-off event – the Associated Radiologists Doc Rock and Run and the Associated Radiologists 5K – will begin at 7 a.m. April 16, with runners and walkers assembling on Alumni Boulevard near the Blue Entrance to the Convocation Center. New this year is the first Expo half-marathon. Participants for both events will finish back at the Blue Entrance of the Convocation Center cheered on by local bands.
Another event planned as part of Expo is the Arkansas Ride for the Cure, a recreational bicycle ride designed for beginner through serious cyclists, with proceeds to benefit the Arkansas Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure. That ride is to begin at 9:30 a.m. and also will start on Alumni Boulevard near the Blue Entrance of the Convocation Center. This year’s ride honoree, Betsy Barrett of Jonesboro, will signal the start of the ride. Planners expect about 200 cyclists to take part in the Ride for the Cure, with some choosing to follow a 10-mile route, while others will tackle 20- or 50-mile routes while raising money for Komen.
As soon as the doors open Saturday, area residents can take advantage of free St. Bernards health screenings that include cholesterol, anemia, glucose, blood pressure and prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing. In addition, HMG member physicians will offer vision, hearing, memory and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) screenings. Take-home colorectal cancer screening kits will be available at the Northeast Arkansas Colon Cancer Coalition booth. Screenings will be done on Saturday only.
Again this year, some onsite screening mammograms will be available in the St. Bernards Mobile Women’s Health Unit. Women interested in mammograms should come to the Pink Zone inside the Convocation Center to register. Physicians from OB-GYN Associates and First Care will perform clinical breast exams for women who qualify for mammograms. To qualify, women must be 40 years of age or older, be uninsured, be asymptomatic (have no breast problems) and must not have had a mammogram in the last 12 months. Mammograms are being funded through a grant from the Arkansas Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
More than 200 vendors set up on the floor and on the mezzanine levels of the Convocation Center will have information on wide ranging health and fitness services available locally. Special areas will include a healthy cooking kitchen, where Saturday and Sunday demonstrations will be conducted on preparing food that’s both good and good for you. The Kids’ Zone will focus on fun activities for youth, including the launch of NFL Play 60 which teaches them the benefits physical activity and good nutrition. Inside the Fitness Zone, a fitness assessment screening area will have trainers on hand to help you get started on an exercise program. Anchoring the Fitness Zone will be an area featuring information about the new St. Bernards Health and Wellness Institute.
The Main Stage will be set up, with performers and speakers providing entertainment and education throughout the two-day Expo. Speakers include physician-led panel discussions covering senior health issues, diabetes, heart health, kids’ health and cancer awareness. Performers will include fitness programs, cheerleading programs, dance students and more. The stage also will be used to present awards for Doc Rock and Run half-marathon and5K.
The first panel discussion is scheduled for 10 Saturday morning and will focus on senior health issues. Participants will include Dr. Cristina Rosca, geriatrician with St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic; Brian Rega, director of St. Bernards Village; Beverly Parker, director of the St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic and education director of the Center on Aging-Northeast; and Becky McDaniel Ewart, executive director of Total Life Healthcare, a program of all-inclusive care for frail elderly.
The second panel discussion will be at 1 p.m. and will be devoted to diabetes. Panelists will include two HMG physicians – Dr. William Hurst , family practice physician with First Care, and Dr. Alyssa Wenger, ophthalmologist with Vision Care Center – a registered dietitian and a diabetic educator with the St. Bernards Diabetes Management Center; and Andy Holder, a national speaker from the Iron Andy Foundation.
Saturday’s final panel discussion will begin at 3 p.m. and will be on heart disease. It will feature Dr. John D. McKee, cardiologist with Cardiology Associates; Dr. Roosevelt Gilliam, electrophysiologist with Cardiology Associates; Dr. Revel Porter, internal medicine specialist with Clopton Clinic; and Dr. Richard Stevenson, cardiovascular surgeon with Heart Surgery Associates of Arkansas.
Panel discussions for Sunday will begin at 11 a.m. with EMTs from Medic One talking about the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Kids’ health will be discussed at 1 p.m. by a panel that will include Dr. Darrel Ragland, family practice physician with First Care; a registered dietician and diabetic educator with the St. Bernards Diabetes Management Center; Tyrell Johnson of the Minnesota Vikings; and Andy Holder from the Iron Andy Foundation.
The final panel discussion of the 2011 HMG Expo is planned for 3 p.m. and will focus on cancer care. Those on the panel will include Dr. John K. Lynch, radiation oncologist with Cancer Care Specialists; Dr. John C. Cook, surgeon with Jonesboro Surgical Associates; Dr. Ben J. Cranfill, urologist with Medical Plaza Urology Associates; Dr. Mazen Khalil, oncologist with Clopton Clinic; and Dr. Donovan R. Stockdale, gastroenterologist with Clopton Clinic.
Another unique feature of Expo is that HMG physicians volunteer their time … along with staff from Therapy Providers, the firm with which St. Bernards contracts for rehabilitative services … to conduct free physical exams for student athletes from six Jonesboro school districts – Brookland, Jonesboro, Nettleton, Valley View, Westside and Ridgefield Christian School. St. Bernards Sports Medicine works with coaches in the six schools to be sure their athletes take advantage of the free physicals. This year, HMG and Cardiology Associates will perform electrocardiograms on all the athletes who will be in ninth through twelfth grades for the 2011-12 school year as a way to determine overall health of the athletes.
Platinum sponsors of Expo include Boston Scientific, Otolaryngology and Facial Surgery Centre, Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission and St. Bernards Healthcare.
Gold sponsors are Absolute Care Management, Associated Radiologists, Medic One, Insurance Network and Lammico and Liberty Bank.
Silver sponsors are the First Care Clinics, The Jonesboro Sun, St. Bernards Healthcare Associated Regional Providers, Simmons Bank, Soo’s Drugstore, IberiaBank and Medtronic.
Bronze sponsors include Barrett & Deacon Attorneys, Bennett’s Nursery, Chick-fil-A, Clopton Clinic, Diversicare, E.C. Barton and Co., Gilmore Custom Kitchens, Greenway Medical, HealthSouth, Hytrol, Integrity First Bank, Jonesboro City Water & Light, Jonesboro Prosthetic & Orthotic Lab, Kroger, McKesson, Michael Annison, National Healing Corp., Pepsi Americas, Physician Sales and Services, Pruitt Promotions, Rainwater & Cox, Ritter Communications, Shinabery’s Compounding and Retail Pharmacy, Sleep Number Mattress, TCBY and TRUE Visionary Marketing.
The weekend-long HMG Health & Fitness Expo has something for everyone and promises to heighten awareness about health and wellness while showcasing services and programs available here.
Additional information can be found on the HMG Expo web site at www.hmgexpo.com.