Nearly 50 vendors provided health advice during the annual Kiwanis Health Fair and Blood Check. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
Nearly 50 vendors provided health advice during the annual Kiwanis Health Fair and Blood Check. (Putnam Sentinel/Becky Leader)
OTTAWA — Putnam County is ranked second in the state in health outcomes according to a recent study compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Ottawa Kiwanis would like to believe their health fair contributed to this honor.

The 28th Annual Spring Blood Check and Health Fair was held on Saturday, May 10, at Ottawa-Glandorf High School.

“This is the largest health fair in the State of Ohio,” declared Kiwanian Jim Heringhaus. “More people are living a healthier lifestyle because of the testing done here.”

Heringhaus, Tom Gustwiller and Rose Riepenhoff were the co-coordinators for this year’s function. Heringhaus related that 40-50 Kiwanis members, the Key Club, Ottawa-Glandorf High School, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office all collaborated to make the event a successful one.

Over 1,600 people took advantage of the blood testing. “It was non-stop crazy!” Gustwiller grinned. “This is the perfect facility,” Gustwiller added. He said the privacy that the north-end bleachers provided for the blood testing, the ample parking, the generous space for vendors, and the top-notch cafeteria facilities all lent themselves to making an ideal location.

This year, Lima Memorial Health Systems Laboratory Services provided 30 phlebotomists, which helped the Kiwanis adhere to their promise that no one waited in line more than 15 minutes.

LMHS Laboratory Director Burlin Sherrick said, “This is an awesome event for people to take accountability for their personal wellness. It helps to encourage patient/physician teamwork to manage health and wellness.”

There were 49 vendors present who offered a multitude of free health care information. More had applied to come, but were turned away due to space limitations, Heringhaus explained.

The increasingly popular breakfast, spearheaded by Riepenhoff, was available to hungry fair-goers after the required 12-hour fasting. She began shopping earlier in the week, and pre-made some of the food at her home. She arrived at the school at 4:00 a.m. to start the coffee, and soon had 15 helpers join her.

“It’s pretty crazy at the beginning, but then we get in a rhythm,” she described.

Riepenhoff estimated she and her crew served 500 meals.