Healthier families lead to healthier communities and this Sunday will provide an opportunity for the whole community to get a leg up on health issues.
The sixth annual Healthier You Expo will take over the Civic Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 - a partnership between Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society executive director Baljit Sethi and the Prince George Citizen.
In addition to the partnership with Bond's office, Sethi said the event would not be able to reach as many members of the community without support from Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat Bell and his ministry's immigration and integration branch. The money IMSS receives from the group makes their involvement possible, she said.
"We would not be able to contribute to arrange something for our ethnocultural clients' needs," Sethi said.
The free, one-day event will offer a variety of information and educational tools for families to fortify themselves for longer, healthier lives.
"We hear a lot about the challenges in health care budgets across the country and how do we begin to grapple with some of the health care issues that families experience and I think that providing information and education is critical for all of us to make healthier choices," Bond said.
One of the reasons the MLA wanted to put on a health fair was an understanding that simple lifestyle choices can greatly decrease the incidence of some types of cancer and other ailments.
"But it's hard to be disciplined, so I think this an opportunity for great organizations in the community and other people who have health care products to share information with the public," Bond said. "And I think that's critical for us if we want to have a healthier population."
The involvement of IMSS means the ethnocultural community and immigrant population will also get the information and education they may not typically be exposed to.
In previous years, the expo has put a spotlight on women- and men-specific health issues.
"Many immigrant women are not aware that, besides the doctors and the health unit, there are other services also available in the community for their support," said Sethi. "Many immigrant men need to get more information and orientation and awareness of the risk of their health and how they could prevent it and how they could manage if they have a problem."
This year the cross-culture promotion will be healthy families and dealing with chronic diseases.
"There are certain chronic diseases that people are more prone to in certain nationalities," Sethi added.
During the day, Dr. Jian Xiao will give a presentation on acupunture and management of arthritis on the main stage in English (3:10 p.m.), in addition to a separate session in Mandarin (2 p.m.).
Dr. Satish Mann will also give a workshop on arthritis in Punjabi at 2 p.m.
And health isn't limited to aches and pains.
"It's a little bit about trying to look at the whole person and whole family," said Bond.
An Iranian cooking demo will get stomachs rumbling at 11:30 a.m. and former city councillor Don Basserman will give his presentation on urban farming at 10:30 a.m.
Members of Prince George Fire Rescue will be on hand to discuss smoke alarms.
"If you want to talk about health and safety, certainly having a functioning smoke alarm, for example, is something many of us take for granted but literally saves lives," said Bond.
Davy Greenlees, a special constable with the Prince George RCMP will also give a presentation on Internet safety at 2:15 p.m. "Maybe not directly related to our physical health but certainly a pertinent topic at the moment," Bond added.
Returning to the fair is Dr. Art Hister, who was so popular last year that he took to the stage twice to accommodate all of the people who wanted to hear him speak.
"I hope people will take few minutes and drop by," Bond said.