Porter Regional Hospital and Valparaiso University Bring Healthcare Education to Community at Fall Into Health Fair

Porter Regional Hospital and Valparaiso University Bring Healthcare Education to Community at Fall Into Health Fair

Porter Regional Hospital and Valparaiso University know that learning is a lifelong process, and it involves a lot more than just sitting in a classroom. That is why the two institutions partnered to host the Fall into Health Fair, an interactive health event for all ages and community members held at VU’s Harre Union Hall that helped people take ownership of their health and futures.

Northwest Indiana is a huge region, so finding healthcare options is not always an easy prospect. That is why twice a year, Porter Regional Hospital partners with local universities to offer their health events, showcasing to the community that quality care is available in their neighborhood. A large team of physicians, health professionals, and certified VU students shared information about things like diabetes, heart health, and other essential topics.

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“We want to make sure that people are not only fully informed, but also not misinformed,” said Nancy Tuthill, a nurse and general educator with Porter Regional Hospital. “It’s easy to go on the internet and jump to conclusions about your health, and neglect to get it checked. Here, we offer information and free screenings. We want people to make frequent visits to their physicians, and to always be ready to ask questions.”

While many of the stations at the fair covered hard-hitting topics such as breast cancer or strokes, others tackled more mundane but highly important subjects, including hand washing and safe lifting techniques. The fair proved very popular with Valparaiso University students, and not just those majoring in healthcare fields.

“Growing up, I used to be a germaphobe,” joked Natasha Martinez, who is studying environmental science at VU. “I think staying informed about health benefits everyone as a whole. We have to live with ourselves every day, so why not be the best ‘self’ that we can be?”

Valparaiso University was proud to be a part of the event and always looks for opportunities to keep their community healthy and informed. Events like the Fall into Health Fair are a part of what VU professor Joseph Zart sees as a strong uptick in positive health trends.

“I think that the healthcare consumer has made great strides in taking ownership of their health,” Zart said. “They are well educated, asking questions, and coming to their appointments prepared. Having a fair like this gives them an opportunity to check on their health status. We’ve worked with Porter Health for years and really appreciate their collaboration in events like today, but also in facilitating clinical education for our students.”

Dr. Jessica Williams, M.D., a cardiologist at Porter Regional Hospital who spent time discussing heart health and answering all kinds of questions from eager attendees, boiled the event down to its essentials.

“This is very important, we’re just here to offer free advice,” said Dr. Williams. “The main idea here is prevention. We want to prevent a massive heart attack, heart failure, or high blood pressure. That’s why we’re offering this information and doing these screenings.”

To learn more about Porter Regional Hospital and their broader healthcare system, visit www.porterhealth.com.