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Health Expo connects people, providers

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Participation levels for vendors and visitors increased for the 2010 Health Expo held Wednesday at the Edgewater Beach Conference Center.

More than 2,000 participants came through the doors to receive gift bags, complimentary tests, screenings and medical consultations. The grand prize giveaway was two free tickets on Southwest Airlines.

Sixty-six vendors, ranging from area hospitals to spinal centers, had booths stocked with visuals, handouts and giveaways.

The expo also featured presentations from area doctors in their areas of expertise, including topics on advances in spine surgery, cosmetic surgery, dementia and heart disease.

Sunfood Body Care - Nutrition For the SkinBay Medical Center, one of the sponsors of the event, offered glucose screening, which took blood from only a prick on the finger, and diabetes screening.

The Bay County Health Department had about 500 swine flu vaccines available to the public free of charge. The department also offered HIV testing.

Gulf Coast Medical Center, also a sponsor, had its AngioScreen test available for visitors at a reduced cost of $65.

Harold Logan, a former pharmaceutical representative who retired in 1997 and a Panama City Beach resident, came out for the AngioScreen.

“I saw it in the paper and thought I would come out and try it,” he said.

The AngioScreen takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete and runs patients through a series of eight tests. The screen included blood pressure, EKG, pulse, heart rhythm, body mass index, ankle brachial index and aortic diameter.

“Everything was great and that makes you feel great,” Logan said about his results.

This is the second year the free community health event has been held with the mission of bringing members of the medical community into contact with residents and visitors.

The Health Expo is sponsored by The News Herald.

“It is wonderful to see the Health Expo grow each year,” said News Herald Marketing Director Vickie Gainer. “We see an outpouring of support from all facets of the medical community, and the participants really take away a lot from this event.”


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