Benefits News

The doctor ordered a day of sunshine and comfortable temperatures for the Local's 5th Annual Health Fair at the St. Louis Zoo! Our local is a proud flagship sponsor of the Making Strides St. Louis Breast Cancer Walk, so the Zoo Event Tent was beribboned in pink and bustling with the traffic of families eager to take part in this fun-filled day. All were treated to a catered lunch and the face painters were there for the kids and the kids-at-heart. Prizes were awarded throughout the Sunday event.

The Local does an exceptional job of making a variety of opportunities available to keep its members healthy. Free blood panels and flu shots were available, as well as vision and hearing screenings. A smoking cessation program was explained and administered, and information was on hand about the Fund's Fitness Benefit. Chiropractors, podiatrists, and orthopedic doctors were all on hand to field questions and conduct free screenings. The kids were entertained by the interactive Delta Dental Health Theatre, and many took advantage of the F.B.I. National Child Identification cards.

Fund Administrator, Buffi Gass, was asked to explain the importance of the free blood work and flu shots: "We believe that preventive care is vital for the Fund's overall health. Flu shots and routine blood work save the Fund, our contractors, and our members money – not only in health care expenses, but also with the significant reduction in lost work. The shots and blood work also contribute in a very positive way to the overall health of our group. Influenza is very hard on the body and makes you more vulnerable to other illnesses as well. The routine blood panels we run include prostate screenings for our male population over the age of 40. There was an instance of the prostate screening catching the disease in the beginning stages, which not only saved the member's life, but also saved the Fund money in long term care. It has been very exciting to watch our membership get so involved in preemptive health care. They see the value and are getting more involved in keeping "their" Fund healthy. It's a great day for us all."

The Health Fair has become a genuine symbol of pride for our Local. Thanks to the year-round efforts of the Benefit Fund staff to expand the Fair, attendance has grown each year; 1600 attendees this year. In addition to the health aspects of the fair, the members and their families enjoy a nice day at the Zoo, courtesy of their Union.

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