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Health Fair benefits county workers

Northampton County employees line-up for flu shots, blood pressure checks and cholesterol screenings during their annual Health Fair held Friday at the Northampton County Cultural & Wellness Center. Staff Photo by Amanda VanDerBroek

JACKSON — The highest cost to a county is often health insurance for its employees.   

One way Northampton County officials have succeeded in cutting that cost is by holding an annual health fair for employees.

On Friday, Northampton County employees gathered for health fair held at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center.

County employees were given two and a half hours to participate in fair that took place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Flu shots from the Northampton County Health Department, yoga and information on plant-based diets were just a few of the goings-on at the fair that featured 60 different vendors.  The theme for this year’s event was the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. 

“We have the whole spectrum of wellness here,” said Northampton County Human Resources Director Marcenda Rogers who spearheaded the event, which is in its second year.

The health fair is funded with a grant from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

Rogers along with Northampton County Manager Wayne Jenkins, noted the savings the fair is bringing to taxpayers in the county.

Rogers noted how healthier employees drive down the cost of health insurance and that savings is passed on to taxpayers.

“Healthy employees mean a healthy county,” she said.

“Our Board of Commissioners is committed to promoting health and wellness,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins also spoke about how holding the event helps reduce the county’s health insurance cost by five percent this year. That equates to a $15,000-$18,000 savings. 

Northampton County EMS Paramedic Kevin Newsome said he was attending the fair for a little “preventative maintenance” in the form of a flu shot.

It was the first time at the heath fair for Newsome and he appeared to be impressed with all it had to offer.

“It seems to be very informative,” said Newsome.

Geneva N. Joyner, an employee with the Cultural and Wellness Center, said she was impressed with the event as well.

“I think it’s good and it has a lot of different vendors,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed it.”