Health advocates come to annual JBS health fair to educate employees about options | TheFencePost.com

Health advocates come to annual JBS health fair to educate employees about options

Caitlin Curley
ccurley@greeleytribune.com

Booths fill the parking lot at the JBS plant in Greeley. The booths were there for the annual JBS Health Fair, which offers employees one place where they can find lots of information about resources for staying healthy or finding care.

Once per year, instead of having to seek out health services, employees at the Greeley JBS USA plant have all their physical and mental health options come to them.

Representatives from health organizations all around Colorado came to the JBS plant last week and set up booths for employees to visit on their way into work as part of the annual JBS Health Fair.

Robbie Skidmore, Event organizer and onsite nurse at JBS, said hundreds of JBS employees checked out the booths Wednesday to learn about health care options.

"If we keep our employees healthy, it not only benefits the company because healthy employees are happier and don't call in sick, it also helps them and their families," Skidmore said.

“If we keep our employees healthy, it not only benefits the company because healthy employees are happier and don’t call in sick, it also helps them and their families.

— Robbie Skidmore, event organizer and JBS onsite nurse

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Skidmore said one of the primary benefits of the fair is educating people who were not aware of their options.

"We have people coming in from outside of the country and a lot of them may not be used to having health care," Skidmore said. "So it's a learning curve for them. We strive to make sure we help everybody know the resources available to them."

Representatives came from educational organizations that aim to spread information, such as the United Way of Weld County, which advocates for child care and family financial stability, and CREA Result, which spreads child developmental health information and works to prevent underage use of marijuana.

Other representatives came from medical care providers around the county, including UCHealth, the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment and Delta Dental.

Angela Farrington, a registered nurse at UCHealth, said the fair was a good idea because a lot of the employees had questions about various symptoms and weren't aware of their primary care options.

"A lot of them don't have a regular doctor and are just going to emergency rooms," Farrington said. "Others haven't seen a doctor in years."

A Woman's Place, a domestic violence shelter, came to spread awareness of the resources available for domestic violence victims and conduct a survey about awareness.

"It's pretty awesome that (JBS) is doing this for their employees," said Darci Darling, an outreach advocate for A Woman's Place.

And the Weld Food Bank came to let people know where they can go this summer if they are in financial trouble and need to feed themselves.

The physical and mental health of children was a common topic among the health representatives. The High Plains Library District also came to spread the word about their summer reading program for kids.

Skidmore said she considered the event a huge success.

"People have been able to learn about primary care and about immunizations," Skidmore said. "We helped them learn about the availability of different resources within the community. And we helped them have fun."

-Caitlin Curley, Greeley Tribune

Local healthcare resources

The JBS Health Fair offered JBS employees one place to find lots of information about staying healthy and finding care when they need it. Here’s a look at a couple of the groups that had representatives in attendance:

» Weld Food Bank offers programs such as free groceries for seniors, summer feeding sites and mobile feedings sites. For more, go to http://www.weldfoodbank.org.

» Weld County Health Department offers programs such as the 5210 Make TODAY Count! campaign, which teaches kids to eat five fruits and veggies a day, spend 2 hours or less with each day with electronics, complete 1 hour of physical activity a day and consume zero sugary drinks. For more information go to http://www.weldhealth.org.