By Beverly Keller
Health is a subject that impacts the workplace. However, it is much more than the health of an employee, it radiates out to the family. If a spouse is sick, an employee may have to miss work. If a child needs medical attention, an employee may have to call in sick.
For Diane Lyons, LPN, an occupational nurse at Case Farms, the need to provide access to health care for employees and their families is real. “This is my first adventure in Occupational Health,” she shared. “I felt this is a place where I can make a difference. In hindsight, they [the employees] are helping me. I just wanted to give back.”
She noted that she sees the employees work hard and over the past year she had researched ways to get them access to health care. “I would love to have a clinic,” she stated. “But that is something down the road.”
The process of putting together the health fair held as part of the company’s summer picnic at Clay’s Park Resort began over 18 months ago. Lyons looked at many options ranging from companies to mobile units that could possibly visit the company.
It wasn’t until she sent an email off to Mercy Medical Center in Canton that the real plan started to take shape. Lyons sent out one email and got ten in return from the hospital with offers of help and suggestions to make the event strong. From there, Lyons worked to make sure there were medical exam rooms and equipment.
The Canton Women’s Clinic also got on board in addition to volunteers from the Breast and Cervical Health Project from the Northeast Region agreed to provide free mammograms and cervical cancer screening at the event.
Those experts were joined by volunteers across the state of Ohio to offer the following services:
– Free eye exams provided by The College of Optometry at The Ohio State University.
– Free oral cancer screenings for adults and fluoride application for children 18 and under provided by Mercy Medical Dental Center and assisted by Stark State Dental Hygiene Students.
– Free chair massages provided by Stark State Massage Therapy Clinic.
– Diabetes, weight management and physical therapy educational programming provided by Mercy Medical Center.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with so many local businesses to host our first Health Fair,” Lyons shared. “This event truly benefited our employees and helped them take care of themselves and their families.”
Lyons shared that even her mother, Mary Jane Evanich, RN, helped during the course of the day as needed. There were also bi-lingual translators on site to help bridge the language barrier.
In addition to the free services provided by local healthcare professionals, many local businesses have pitched in to offer their support. Clay Parks Resort donated the venue for the event, Avalon RV Center of Medina donated Hyper Lite Toy Haulers for the use of exam rooms, James Second Hand Medical donated medical and lab equipment including exam beds.
Santa John, a local professional year-round Santa, donated his time to encourage children to take advantage of the free dental treatments.
“Thank you to all the local businesses and volunteers who are helping make this a special event for our employees,” Lyons said. “We wouldn’t be able to host this event if it wasn’t for their generous gifts of time and talent.”
When it was all said and done, about 200 employees and their families walked through the health fair. Of that number, 100 received services that are monitored ranging from eye exams to fluoride treatments and obstetrics services. Lyons noted that five or six were sent on for more care based on things seen during the exams.
Looking forward, Lyons, who has been in the medical field since 1982, hopes to bring the event back to the picnic and make it bigger and better. “Health care is something that is going,” she said. “Ongoing education throughout the year is important. I hope they walked away with knowledge without even knowing they were absorbing it.”
Case Farms, founded in 1986, is a fully integrated poultry farming and processing group of dedicated individuals that work together to produce consistent, quality poultry products. Its driving purpose is to deliver superior products and service to every customer, every time. Case Farms processes 3.3 million birds per week, has over 3,200 dedicated team members, and produces in excess of 1.0 billion pounds of fresh, partially cooked, and frozen-for-export poultry products per year. The company has operations or offices in Ohio and North Carolina. For more information on Case Farms, visit www.casefarms.com
This story originally appeared in the August 22, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.