MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Marines and Combat Center personnel attended the inaugural Twentynine Palms Active Duty and Base Employee Health Fair at the Combat Center’s Sunset Cinema April 8, 2011.
The fair, sponsored by Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital Palms and the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, invited Marines, sailors and installation employees to educate themselves on topics like hearing conservation, men’s and women’s health, tobacco cessation, STD prevention, internet addiction, behavioral health and sexual assault prevention.
The health fair educated the audience on common misconceptions and the dangers of certain lifestyle choices and the use of protective equipment.
Dr. Clayton Barbour, an HIV specialist with the Desert AIDS Project, was a speaker at the health fair and warned the audience on the dangers of unprotected sex and AIDS.
“There are a lot of young Marines here that can benefit a lot from these kinds of presentations,” Barbour said.
“One of the things we’re trying to stress here is hearing conservation,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class George Herrera, one of the health fair coordinators. “Hearing loss is one of the major health problems of Marines upon leaving the service,” added Herrera.
Herrera was the bridge between service members and the personnel presenting the information, filling in the blanks and relating the information to all service members lifestyles and making it digestible.
One of the fair’s main points was to lead a healthy lifestyle. It covered topic relating to everyday life that can effect health problems.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all premature deaths in this country were caused by lifestyle related problems.
Speakers invited the audience to ask any questions they had after each presentation.
Literature and materials, including interactive software, were available to attendees. “We want to be able to educate the people here on base and we want to make the health fair an annual thing,” said Herrera.
Herrera and other speakers encouraged the audience to be proactive, to live a healthy lifestyle and to take precautions into their daily lives, whether remembering to wear ear protection or to practice safe sex.