Wellness event day of health education

CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Gayla Jaquess, nurse manager at Clovis Health Office, speaks to a Health and Wellness fair attendee about the actual amount of sugars found in sweets commonly consumed such as soda and ice cream.

Benna Sayyed

The United Way of Eastern New Mexico held its fourth annual Health and Wellness Day Saturday at Clovis Community College to educate families on a healthy lifestyle.

The free event sponsored by the Curry County Wellness Council, was promoted to families and offered a variety speakers and presentations on health to entertain and educate parents and their children.

An expo in the community college common area allowed attendees to have questions answered by experts representing different organizations ranging from home care to nutrition and organizations to drug rehabilitation programs. Other booths included Habitat for Humanity, the Curry County Public Health Office, and Team Builders of Clovis.

“It’s a way to get people access to things all in one place that they wouldn’t necessarily get unless they went around to 10 different organizations during the week,” said Sara Newell, assistant director at United Way of Eastern New Mexico.

“It’s completely free and they get a lunch provided so we think that it’s a really great way to reach out to our community in a way that isn’t fundraising, that is just our initiative to have a healthier community,” she said.

Newell said the event’s structure stays the same from year to year but classes usually change.

This year’s program featured a showing of the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead,” the story of a man with life-threatening health issues who revamps his diet with fruits and vegetables, changing his health and saving his life.

Gayla Jaquess, nurse manager at the Curry County Public Health office, ran a booth that provided information on nutrition and how it affects the human body.

“In New Mexico we have one of the highest obesity rates. This is a way we can get with people and show them little things they can do to help their diet,” said Jaquess.

Jaquess handed out cookbooks containing recipes of simple, healthy dishes children can make to steer them away from eating processed foods.

Clovis Police Officer Kevin Littlejohn ran the DEA Drug Take Back booth in connection with CPD Region IV Drug Taskforce. The booth allowed people to properly dispose of prescription drugs.

“A lot of times we’ll have people whose house get burglarized,” Littlejohn said. “A lot of thieves are looking for prescription drugs inside their house. The less they have, if they don’t need them (drugs) it’s better to get them into a bag and shipped off and disposed of properly without getting into the wrong hands.”