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Since it started six years ago, the Benton County Health and Wellness Fair has grown in popularity, and this year was to be no exception. The event is usually scheduled earlier in the spring, but this year organizers chose to postpone as they determined the best way to proceed in light of concerns over COVID-19. After careful thought and planning, the event will be held this month, slightly different from years past.

Virginia Gay Hospital, the Virginia Gay Hospital Foundation, and an extensive list of health, safety, and wellness partners will be offering the fair as a drive-thru event bringing it to each of the four communities with a Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinic: Atkins, Urbana, Van Horne, and Vinton.

Free grab bags filled with resources, tips, information, and freebies will be offered one per family while supplies last during the week ofOctober 12-15. Hospital staff, board members, and volunteers will be passing out the bags following the appropriate safety protocols for COVID-19. The schedule is set as follows. The first drive-thru will be held in Van Horne on Monday, October 12, from 3:30 - 6 pm. On Tuesday, October 13, the team will pass out grab bags in Atkins from noon - 6 pm and travel to Urbana on Wednesday, October 14, where those interested are welcome to pick-up bags again from 3:30 to 6 pm. The week's final location will be in Vinton on Thursday, October 15, with pick-ups available from 3:30 to 6-pm.

The purpose of the health fair is to showcase the wide variety of resources available in our area. Now is not the time to distance from your health, and the grab bags that are being distributed will provide a tremendous amount of resources during these unprecedented times. Robin Martin, the director of the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation and the chair for the event committee, is excited about the cooperation and participation surrounding this year's health fair. "Our original plans may have changed with this year's event, but our overall mission of keeping the community informed of the programs, resources, and opportunities for improving all aspects of health remains. Topics covered include not only physical health but mental, emotional, and financial health.

The community is also encouraged to visit the website, There are several videos, health tips, and an opportunity to sign-up for a door prize drawing just by signing the virtual guest book before October 16.

Virginia Gay Hospital and the Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Team is pleased to partner with many other local professionals in the areas of health, wellness, and safety to bring this year's drive-thru event to the community.

Platinum level sponsors for this year include Carson Wealth, Farmers Savings Bank & Trust-Vinton, Vinton Lutheran Home, UnityPoint Health, and United Healthcare. Premier level sponsors are Area Substance Abuse Council, Eastern Iowa Health Center, Fareway Stores (Vinton), and HomeInstead Senior Care, and partner level sponsors are Arbonne/Becky Kruckenberg, Benton County Sheriff; Benton County Veteran's Affairs; Betterton Chiropractic, EchoVision Inc./US Cellular.


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