Participation, Engagement Strong for Second Annual Health Fair

By Ben Boulden

Last year’s fair was completely virtual, while the 2021 Health Fair was a hybrid of in-person and virtual presentations. Several of the sessions were interactive and shorter in length than the previous year. Both fairs were sponsored by Get Healthy UAMS.

Lindsay Joyce

Lindsay Joyce, UAMS Fitness Center coordinator, leads a live yoga session conducted in person and streamed online.Image by Evan Lewis

“I received a lot of emails for those attending that they were glad to be able to interact with the sessions rather than them just being informational,” said Natalie Cannady, M.Ed., UAMS chief wellness officer. “We’re going to try that again and stay consistent with that.”

After a video welcome from Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA., the fair launched into a three-hour schedule of events that included a:

  • Cooking Segment with Mande Corbett and UAMS Stocked & Reddie.
  • Live Trivia contests in two separate sessions took place online through the Quizziz app.
  • Mindfulness Session, offered in-person on the 12th floor of the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute in the Fred W. Smith Auditorium or via Zoom.
  • Live Yoga, an in-person session led by Fitness Coordinator, Lindsay Joyce.
  • Mindfulness Session with Singing Bowls. Led by Puru Thapa, M.D., in a live session in the Smith Auditorium and online via Zoom.

Cannady said the Singing Bowls session “felt like smooth gold hitting your ears. Listening compels you to follow the sound.”

Corbett, manager of the UAMS Stocked & Reddie food pantry, used leeks, great northern beans and tuna to show how someone could make an affordable meal by using what the food pantry has to offer. She prepared a light, fresh salad without any mayonnaise as well as a bean dip from with the great northern beans and the white parts of the leeks accompanied by some saltines for dipping.

Mande Corbett

Mande Corbett opens the Health Fair with a demonstration of how to use footstuffs from the Stocked & Reddie food pantry to make a salad and a bean dip.Image by Evan Lewis

“We’ve had a lot of great feedback from folks who have incorporated more vegetables in their diet from trying them at Stocked & Reddie and never having had them before,” Corbett said.

One of the pantry’s members made a salad using groceries and produce from the pantry, Corbett said. The same customer has lost more than 100 pounds because he has been eating so many more vegetables.

Based on her own experience, she thinks this year’s Health Fair was a great success.

“It was a neat aggregation of a lot of different topics,” Corbett said. “They do a great job of putting it together and working within the restrictions of the pandemic. They’ve kept it fun and engaging. It brings together all the aspects of health and wellness in one event or schedule.