HealthSmart, The Time to Act is Now

HealthSmart, The Time to Act is Now

By Jack Chapman, MD, Gainesville Eye Associates

The Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s HealthSmart Interactive Health and Wellness Expo is a model for communities on how citizens can take control of their health by seeking and implementing proactive health care solutions.

HealthSmart on October 24 will empower Gainesville-Hall County citizens with the latest information on healthy dietary and lifestyle choices and the best practices to prevent future health problems. Health care professionals from all facets of the industry will be on hand to provide a variety of screenings and services. Prevention and early detection save lives and trips to the hospital. Informing, educating and updating citizens as well as providing screenings and services are the primary purposes of HealthSmart.

Former Atlanta Hawks star and Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins will speak on his new diabetes prevention initiative that he developed with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In the program called “’Nique and Newt’s Full-Court Press on Diabetes,” Wilkins will share the steps he is taking to beat his Type 2 diabetes and how the right diet and exercise plan can prevent the onset of diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, if current trends continue unchecked, one of every three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. Diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease currently account for 75 % of healthcare costs. In fact, diabetes is now the number one cause of new adult blindness.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but the time to act is now.

Healthy communities are the product of the effort of supporting and encouraging our neighbors, sharing information about the latest and best practices – even going for a walk, bike ride or sharing a healthy recipe!

I encourage all Hall County businesses to allow their employees to attend the HealthSmart Interactive Health and Wellness Expo. In fact, attending HealthSmart together would be a wonderful, and healthy, team building exercise.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2007 HealthSmart Interactive Health and Wellness Expo on Wednesday, October 24 at the Georgia Mountains Center. The breakfast with Dominique Wilkins begins at 9:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Reservations are required for the breakfast. The EXPO portion of the day begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Arena of the Georgia Mountains Center. Over 60 booths will provide services for people of all ages – from flu shots and blood pressure checks to healthy eating tips and skin cancer screenings. A series of seminars begin at 10:30 a.m. on topics ranging from heart disease to initiating a company wellness program.

Jack M. Chapman, Jr., M.D., is President of Health Access Initiative, a physician-driven project of the Hall County Medical Society that seeks to improve access to medical care for Hall County’s uninsured adults. He is President-Elect of the Medical Association of Georgia, a member of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Committee and former member of the Greater Hall Chamber Board of Directors.