2015-03-26 / Health & Wellness
Expo highlights abundant resources
Although she feels healthy, 59-year-old Susan Newhauser found value in undergoing free testing for lean muscle mass and body fat at the fifth annual Community Health Expo at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on March 21.
“I could have a better fat-tolean mass ratio,” said Newhauser, a resident of Miami who found out about the expo while house hunting in the Conejo Valley.
“This is a very nice facility and it’s drawn together all these experts . . . to show what’s available in this community,” she said. “There are so many booths here with so much helpful information.”
Newhauser was among hundreds of people who gathered for the event, designed to showcase the health-related resources in the Conejo Valley.
Last Saturday’s expo offered free skin, asthma, blood pressure and body mass index screenings by Los Robles Hospital. More than 40 vendors showcased caregiving services, home health and hospice care, orthodontics, chiropractics, counseling and more.
“The goal is to provide health information and resources to the region and residents in this area so they know what’s available to them,” said Louis Celaya, chair of the event presented by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation in conjunction with Los Robles Hospital.
Additional event sponsors included UCLA Health and Rotary Club of Calabasas.
“The community center donates this facility free of charge,” Celaya said. “Without the center and our sponsors we couldn’t bring this valuable event to the community. We hope they see all the vendors that are here and learn more about them.”
Hannah Nua, a sophomore at California Lutheran University majoring in exercise science, manned a booth that offered free body composition testing.
“We see a lot of trends where obesity has gone up,” said Nua, 19. “It’s really important to get the message out that exercise can be used as a medication to help prevent cardio vascular disease and extend your quality of life.”
Larae Hayes, a sales representative for healthcare diagnostics company LabCorp, helped with blood panel testing, offered at $25.
“Normally it costs a lot more,” Hayes said. “Many people who are low income or senior citizens . . . don’t go to the doctor. So if they come out to something like this, they receive a valuable service.”
Rachel Shur, a two-time terminal leukemia survivor, showcased her nonprofit, the United Cancer Advocacy Action Network. Based in Thousand Oaks, the organization provides free services and programs including gas cards for patients to travel to treatments, a preventative dental program and empowerment programs.
“It’s all about exposure and raising awareness and letting people know there’s a great grassroots organization in the area,” Shur said.
Malcolm Dicks, a captain with Los Angeles County Fire Department, was among other fire personnel teaching sidewalk CPR, a program designed to give people the basic skills to save a family member, friend or person in need.
If provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, sidewalk CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival until emergency responders arrive, he said.
“In the past you’d have to be certified—now it’s just a matter of learning in five minutes,” Dicks explained. “If someone calls us because someone has a heart attack, it takes us five to six minutes to get there. If nothing is done that person will probably pass away. But if someone starts CPR their survivability rate goes up exponentially.”
Oxana McGovern participated in a “fitness mashup” that honed agility and strength in a high-intensity workout.
“I’ve attended the expo in the past but this is the first time I took the exercise class,” said McGovern, 43, of Calabasas. “It’s a serious workout; I realized how much I’m out of shape.”
Last year, the expo helped her troubleshoot a lower-back issue.
“I did a free screening and it showed I had inflammation so it was a sign for me to see the doctor,” McGovern said. “I realized that I needed a physical therapy and that I wasn’t using my body right. So these events are really helpful.”