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Flu Shots & Senior Health Fair

There is a crispness in the air and the days are getting shorter. This is signaling that Fall is on its way.

Now is the time, especially if you are 65 or older, to get vaccinated to combat the flu and its sometimes severe complications.

Lackawanna County is once again making it easy for area residents to do so. The County’s Community Relations, Community Outreach and Communications Departments and its Area Agency on Aging are conducting a Senior Health Fair and providing free flu shots in conjunction with Visiting Nurse Association of Lackawanna County.

This free event is scheduled for Friday, September 26, from 10 am – 1 pm in The Club Level at PNC Field, Moosic.

The fair, which is being sponsored by Geisinger Community Medical Center, Traditional Home Health & Hospice, Miracle Ear, Delta Medix, Senior Health Care Solutions, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allied Services, Matt Burne Honda, Northeastern Eye Institute, Pennsylvania Lottery, Visiting Nurse Association of Lackawanna County, and Citizens Savings Bank, will feature 49 exhibitors, offering information on a variety of programs, services, living arrangements, legal information, sight and hearing data, transportation, and financial advice.

“This health fair is a natural for us because Human Services are a huge part of our mission,” said Lackawanna County Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “The people who attend not only get a flu shot, but they also can learn about programs that they could utilize for themselves, a family member or a friend.”

“This is a very practical program,” said Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien. “This is a great example of collaborating with other organizations to help-out our seniors with information on what services they can capitalize on for their health and well-being.”

“This program has been a huge success. It is important to alert the public on how to stay healthy. We also want our seniors to know what services are available to help them out now or in the future,” noted Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.

“We have a very large elderly population that we care for everyday,” explained Colin Holmes, Executive Director of the County’s Area Agency on Aging. “The Senior Health Fair is a great for them to get information and a flu shot and to socialize.”

The event will open with remarks from Colin Holmes from the County’s Area Agency on Aging and the Lackawanna County Commissioners.

Flu shots will be given continuously throughout the day by staff from the Visiting Nurse Association of Lackawanna County. Attendees will need to provide their insurance or Medicare cards and name as a means of matching them and the serum batch that they receive.

Once the guests receive their flu shot, they will be able to visit the vendor displays and take part in the various screenings and other services being provided.

Light refreshments will be served. There will also be various giveaways at the booths and prize drawings.

Rides from the Abington, Dunmore, South Scranton and West Scranton community centers and other spots will be provided by the County’s transportation system. Individuals have to register for a ride.

Michele Burns of the County’s Community Relations staff is coordinating the fair.

Along with the sponsors, the companies and organizations participating in the fair are: Viewmont Health Associates, Center For Independent Living, Lackawanna County Community Relations Department, Hospice of the Sacred Heart, Jewish Home of Eastern Pennsylvania, Lackawanna County’s Library System, Little Sisters of the Poor, Greater Scranton YMCA, Lou Ruspi Foundation, Compassionate Care Hospice, and AARP – local chapter.

Also, Lutheran Home Care & Hospice, Oakwood Terrace, Serving Seniors, Telespond Senior Services, Lackawanna County’s Voter Registration Office, Lackawanna County’s Area Agency on Aging, Penn DOT, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Bayada Home Health, BioScrip Infusion Services, Northeast Memory & Alzheimer Center, and Southern Care.

Also, St. Mary’s Villa Campus, Personal Home Health Care, Celtic Health Care, Mid Valley Medical Equipment, Lackawanna Blind Association, COLTS, Marshall, Parker & Weber, LLC., Alzheimer Association, Saber Health Care, Voluntary Action Center, Commonwealth Health EMS, American Lung Association, Proven Wellness Neighborhood, and The Commonwealth Medical College Library.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Meals On Wheels.

Winners Of The Armed Forces Drawing & Essay Contests Announced

The Lackawanna County Communications, Community Outreach and Community Relations Departments once again received a large response to its second annual Armed Forces Drawing and Essay contests with eight school districts submitting over 150 entries.

The competition, which kicked-off in February and ran through April, generated 73 drawings/designs and 91 essays/poems.

The categories for the contest were as follows: kindergarten to second grade involved the youngsters preparing a patriotic drawing; third to eighth graders were asked to develop an essay on the topic of “Why I Appreciate America’s Veterans;” and ninth through twelfth grade students had to reflect on the topic of “What I Would Tell America’s Founding Father’s About Our Country.”

The drawing’s size was 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  The writing exercise for grades 3-8 was in the 100 words to 300 words range, while the upper grades was set at 300 to 500 words.

The format for the writing contests was a traditional essay or a poem.

The Old Forge and Riverside School Districts were the largest participants in the competition with the Scranton School District, the Lutheran Academy, St Gregory’s, Carbondale Area School District, St. Mary’s – Dunmore, Valley View School District, Pittston Area School District, LaSalle Academy and the Dunmore School District submitting entries.

The winners, who received a voucher for two general admission lawn tickets for a Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders game, included: Adrianna Hoover, Riverside; Christopher Rotell-Tierney, Carbondale; Sarah Wolfe, Riverside; Cadie Lewis, Dunmore; Mariah Mancuso, St. Mary’s Dunmore; and Matthew Nichols, The Lutheran Academy.

Also, Emil Nischal, The Lutheran Academy; Michael Minick, St. Mary’s Dunmore; Emma Connolly, LaSalle Academy; Kate DeFrancesco, Riverside; Maddie Loftus, Dunmore; Morgan Mickavicz, Riverside; and Peter Miles, Riverside.

Hurricane Awareness Week

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.

Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) or follow the links for more information. But remember, this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014 runs from May 25th through May 31st.

Please visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ for more information!