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Health and wellness fair a good fit in Medford

Souad Chafiki learning about skin care at the Mystic Valley Dermatology table with her daughters, Salma and Maryam Ngokila. (Marianne Salza)

MEDFORD — Tufts University of Dental Medicine taught children proper brushing techniques, and the City of Medford Board of Health provided free flu vaccinations during the second Annual Health, Wellness, and Fitness Fair last week.

The resource fair attracted hundreds of visitors to Medford High School to learn about local programming, such as housing and family support, utility assistance, and elder services.

“I’m glad people are here. We want to promote health and wellness every day,” said Mayor Stephanie Burke, who hosted the event in collaboration with the City of Medford, and Medford Public Schools. “We think it’s important not only to reach out to our employees, but the city as a whole, and inspire them.”

Burke encourages healthy living for children, adults, and seniors in the community, and believes it is essential to be cognizant of the needs of the aging population.

“It’s a fabulous turnout. We’re happy to be able to offer this,” she said. “We try to gear most of our events toward everybody, so everyone can enjoy them and get something out of them.”

At the free, public event, the District Attorney’s Office promoted safety awareness and habits for children, and the American Academy of Dermatology provided information about skin care, and how to identify signs of melanoma. Visitors also learned about physical therapy, cancer treatments, CPR training, and nutrition.

“There is something about the change of seasons that sometimes creates mood swings, and it’s important to pay attention to those,” said Burke. “Sometimes it’s by diet. The farm fresh things that you had over the summer stop, so you have to be conscious of those things.”

There was information about youth development opportunities, such as aquatic classes and music lessons at the Malden YMCA, health care and food stamp assistance, and language and civic courses with ABCD Mystic Valley Opportunity Center.

“We like to do community outreach programs. It’s a great way for us to connect with the community and let them know we’re here,” said Nikki Calkins, RPH, of Hallmark Health Pharmacy, who offered blood pressure screenings. “As a pharmacist, sometimes people don’t know exactly what we offer. We have an extensive education. People become health care professionals because we love the public.”

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