Setting up Health Fair – Wellness Fair Committees and Duties
Select from the following page sections or simply scroll down to review all suggested health fair – wellness fair committees and duties:
- Chair or Co-Chairs
- Planning Committee
- Clinical Subcommittee
- Administrative Subcommittee
- Facilities Subcommittee
- Procurement Subcommittee
- Food Subcommittee
- Clerical/Staffing/Scheduling Subcommittee
- Publicity/Community Relations Subcommittee
- Time Table and Checklist
The educator may elect to be chair or may share the responsibilities with another person as her co-chair.
Organize a planning committee of six to eight people. Members of this committee will provide leadership and coordination for subcommittees. They can also identify key people for subcommittees.
Try to have a planning committee representative from the following groups:
- Health professionals: physicians, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants
- Health agencies: hospitals, home health agencies, clinics, nursing homes, retirement centers, emergency medical services
- Local employers
- Local media
- Other members of your target audience
A broad-based community planning committee will provide:
- widespread support and better attendance;
- ideas that better meet unique needs of community people;
- selection of time and place least likely to conflict with other community activities;
- more people to share the work;
- more media promotion and attention; and
- safe, reliable screening practices with referrals and explanations for abnormal results.
Health Fair – Wellness Planning Committee Duties
- Identify the target audience.
- Identify best ways to reach the target audience. Should entertainment and games be a part of the health fair? Should the health fair be only activity oriented? Should screenings and immunizations be offered?
- Develop a theme, like “Family Health Affair” or “Spring into Health.”
- Develop a timeline.
- Create a schedule for the health fair, including opening and closing times, lunch, dinner, etc.
- Select a date.
- Identify subcommittees and possible members.
- Set and manage the budget, considering:
- Publicity and promotion costs;
- Equipment and table, chair, audiovisual, etc., rentals;
- Refreshments and lunches for participants, volunteers, and people in booths;
- Permits and insurance requirements;
- Mailing, including promotional and follow-up; and
- Screening costs.
- Give subcommittees their allocation.
- Set policies for budget management and reimbursement of expenses.
- Identify the person responsible for writing and signing checks.
- How will deposits for equipment, tables, etc. be handled?
- How will records of expenditures be maintained?
- What are the policies regarding handling cash?
- If there is a petty cash fund, who will maintain and authorize withdrawals?
- What is the deadline for submission of bills after the fair is done?
- Identify possible locations for the subcommittee to consider, or make the selection if the site is already known for some reason.
- Identify potential donors, sponsors, and vendors.
- Coordinate contact of all donors, sponsors, vendors, and booth participants.
- Provide oversight and coordination for subcommittees. For example, make sure that booths and services are appropriate for a health fair, and avoid booths by groups that present health messages that are not research-based; also, make sure committees stay within budget.
- Assist with management of the health fair, and make sure that one or more management people are available the day of the fair to “put out the inevitable fires,” welcome participants, assist with sign in sheets, escort school groups, etc.
Health professionals on the clinical subcommittee can help determine what is appropriate to include in a health fair for the target audience. Not all brochures, giveaways, or topics should be included. For example, giving away small objects that could be swallowed by toddlers should be avoided at family-oriented health fairs.
Screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, etc. may be planned if appropriate for the target audience. Screenings are much more useful to people than a health risk appraisal. Do not use the health risk appraisal given to Extension agents a number of years ago; it is outdated and not useful anymore.
Not all health fairs require screenings. Including screenings in children’s health fairs, for example, may not be worthwhile because schools perform required checks of height and weight, scoliosis, vision, hearing, etc. and, except in certain target populations, checking children’s cholesterol is not appropriate. No intrusive procedure like drawing blood or finger sticks can ever be done on children without their parents’ signed permission. Hands-on, activity-focused health fairs would benefit children more.
If screenings are provided, the clinical subcommittee must help in determining appropriateness for the audience, finding appropriate providers, making sure universal precautions are followed, results are accurate, and participants are properly informed about results and provided with follow-up suggestions. Provisions must be made for situations when someone’s blood pressure or blood sugar is found to be dangerously high during the health fair – where can that person go for immediate help?
For these and many other reasons, having a clinical subcommittee is critical for a health fair.
Health Fair – Wellness Clinical Subcommittee Duties
- Identify key health topics and booths for the target audience.
- Determine the kinds of screenings/services for the target audience, like:
- blood cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides)
- blood glucose
- blood pressure
- skin cancer
- lung capacity
- vision screening
- glaucoma screening
- hearing tests
- Plan and arrange for booths from agencies, such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Texas Department of Health, etc.
- Plan and arrange for types of clinical staff, laboratory services, mammogram van or transportation to the location for mammograms such as a local hospital for clinic.
- Plan for meeting universal precautions regarding drawing and handling blood, etc.
- Plan for delivery of results to the participants.
- Plan and arrange for treatment referrals for participants with abnormal results, both immediately and longer term (for example, if someone has a very high blood glucose or blood pressure, where can they be seen immediately?).
- Define and review the kinds of health information, brochures, and giveaways appropriate for the target audience (for example, no small objects for young children or free drug samples, etc.).
- Plan for immunizations appropriate for the target audience.
- Plan for obtaining consent forms if children are having any screening procedure or immunizations.
- Plan and arrange for “Ask a Doctor,” “Ask a Nurse,” “Ask a Podiatrist,” “Ask a Pharmacist,” etc. booths.
- Plan for equipment needs, such as blood pressure cuffs including children’s, (note: BP screening is not usually done for children unless the target population is deemed high risk), average adult’s, and obese adult’s (the wrong sized cuff will give wrong results).
- Plan for first aid needs during the health fair.
- Provide information on actual costs for clinical services, such as the lab work provided to facilitate interpretation of the value of the health fair to the community.
- Plan to protect confidentiality of participants regarding results.
- Results only must be given to the individual participant.
- No sign-up sheets identifying participants’ blood pressure, lab results, etc.
- Results may never be delivered to the employer at a worksite or to an insurance company.
- If height and weight are done, for example, it must be done so no one can even accidentally be made aware of someone else’s results – this is true for children as well as adults (Note: Determine BMI and explain meaning of results. To calculate BMI, go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s calculator at CDC BMI Calculators. Another option for adults might be helping them calculate their waist-to-hip ratio – see Appendix).
Depending on the size of the health fair, this committee might have to be broken into smaller committees. For example, the facilities committee might be in charge of finding an appropriate place, developing a floor plan and map, and decorating.
Another committee might be needed to take care of food, while an additional committee might be in charge of procuring door prizes, entertainment, decorations, games, and incentives. Another committee might take care of the clerical duties, such as creating forms and signs.
The Facilities Subcommittee should consider the following when selecting facilities:
- Inside versus Outside: if the health fair is outside, a contingency plan will be needed for bad weather, including wind; booth workers may need sunscreen.
- Plan for equipment and electrical needs.
- Are tables and chairs available?
- Are adequate restroom facilities available?
- Are drinking water and refreshments available?
- Food safety: cooking and refrigeration.
- Parking: Is it adequate?
- What type of cleanup is required?
- Safety: Are there stairs?
- Is the location near transportation?
- Is the location easily accessible for the target audience? For example, is there a safe place for school children to load and unload the bus? /li>
- Is the location easy to find?
- Plan for security. Where can purses be kept safely during the fair? Crowd control? etc.
- Plan locations for exhibit booths (competing agencies do not like being right next to one another).
- Plan for crowd flow.
- Create a map for participants to locate booths of interest at the fair as well as essential services like restrooms and water fountains.
- Create and post signs at the fair for booths and directions to restrooms, water fountains, refreshments, entertainment, first aid, lost parents, and exits. Signs may be done by the clerical committee.
The duties of the Procurement Subcommittee include:
- Planning for and obtaining incentives, giveaways, brochures, promotional items, bags to collect fair brochures and giveaways, and door prizes.
- Securing decorations and decorating the day of the fair.
- Planning for and obtaining supplies, including:
- Garbage cans
- Garbage bags
- Pens, pencils
- Paper, notebooks
- Extension cords
- Surge protectors
- 3-prong adapters
- Tape, such as scotch, electrical, masking, etc.
The Food Subcommittee is responsible for refreshments. When deciding on the types of refreshments to serve, consider:
- Appropriateness of the refreshments.
- Sources for the refreshments.
- Food safety.
- Provide necessary clerical support, including writing letters and invitations, and creating the following forms:
- Sign-in or registration forms.
- Evaluation forms for participants and exhibitors.
- Plan for setup and cleanup the day of the health fair; procure adequate staff to assist.
- Plan for and procure adequate staff for the health fair, considering breaks and lunch times. Having a break room for exhibitors is helpful.
- Develop an assignment list for the day of the fair so volunteers can be easily directed to their assigned areas.
- Schedule a manager to be present for setup and other times to “put out fires” as they arise.
- Assist with management of the health fair.
Duties of the Publicity/Community Relations Subcommittee include:
- Developing and disseminating posters, flyers, and mailings.
- Developing and disseminating announcements to the media, including radio, TV, newspapers, store bulletin boards, church bulletins, etc.
- Design a “pocket badge” that can be worn by the committee members, exhibitors, 4-H youth, and other volunteers just prior to the health fair. These could have a slogan reading, “I’m Going to the Health Fair” or “See You at the ___________ County Health Fair!”
- Involve 4-Hers by asking them to make and display posters; have a poster contest.
- Include health fair information in the county Extension newsletter.
- Ask the county judge to proclaim the week of the health fair as “Health Week in ___________ County.”
- Place flyers in grocery bags, bank statements, utility bills, and other regular mailings.
- Include a brief announcement about the health fair in church bulletins.
- A good point to emphasize is the estimated amount of money that can be saved by taking advantage of free screenings.
Health Fair Step 1
Select chair or co-chairs. Select and meet with planning/coordinating committee.
Health Fair Step 2
Form and meet with subcommittees. Have subcommittees appoint chairs to report activities to planning committee.
Health Fair Step 3
Select dates and times and secure location for the Health Fair.
Health Fair Step 4
Ask exhibitors, clinicians, and other people working in the Fair to reserve the selected date.
Health Fair Step 5
Provide a written confirmation to exhibitors and include the following information:
- date of event
- time (to set up booth and hours open to public)
- location (include a map)
- general guidelines
- booth signs (provided by either committee or exhibitor)
- remind exhibitors to bring special equipment, such as extension cords, three-prong adapters, etc.
- ask exhibitors about space and electrical requirement
Health Fair Step 6
Order handouts from the American Heart Association, Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, etc.
Health Fair Step 7
Duplicate printed materials (registration forms, evaluation forms, publicity printing, etc.)
Health Fair Step 8
Locate and line up needed equipment (chairs, tables, and other necessary supplies).
Health Fair Step 9
Draw a floor plan. Consider traffic flow and lines for screening, location of electrical outlets and space requirements for each booth. Provide the floor plan to each exhibitor.
Health Fair Step 10
Plan for the Extension exhibit.
Health Fair Step 11
Meeting with committee chairs one month before the Health Fair is scheduled to review progress towards implementation of plans.
Health Fair Step 12
Set up tables, equipment, refreshments, etc. the night before.
Health Fair Step 13
Troubleshooting, welcoming of participants, press, and special visitors.
Health Fair Step 14
Clean up, return borrowed equipment.
Health Fair Step 15
Tabulate evaluation results and submit newspaper articles.
Health Fair Step 16
Thank-you letters to all who assisted in the Health Fair.
Health Fair Step 17
Follow-up on referrals from screening, evaluation of Health Fair, and report accomplishments.
[ Next Page: Wellness Fair Activities and Ideas ]
[ Previous Page: Objectives and Planning of a Health Fair ]