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HealthSmart expo has a strong pulse
Hundreds gather for 6th annual event
David Castaldini has blood drawn by Lisa Zini of The Longstreet Clinic for a cholesterol and glucose screening.

Most Fit Company award winners

Small business, less than 50 employees: Aqua-Terra Recycling and Treatment, Flowery Branch

Medium business, 51-250 employees: Ace Hardware Gainesville Retail Support Center, Gainesville

Large business, 251 or more employees: Baldor Electric, Flowery Branch

David Castaldini laughed Wednesday while a nurse tied a rubber band around his arm and drew blood to test his glucose level.

It was a little bit of pain, but an opportunity for a free health screening.

He was one of about 700 people who took advantage of the screenings at the sixth annual HealthSmart Interactive Health and Wellness Expo hosted by The Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Georgia Mountains Center.

As a CPR instructor, Castaldini said it’s important to him to see what is happening in the health care industry.

“I’ve been coming for a number of years just to visit and see what is new in health,” he said.

Visitors to the expo were also able to discuss their health with more than 60 health-related vendors.

The Longstreet Clinic offered blood tests to check cholesterol and glucose levels and provided the results in about an hour and a half.

More than 10 other vendors offered screenings in areas such as asthma, carotid artery, posture, vision, hearing, balance and foot screenings for diabetics.

“There is really something for almost every part of the body today,” said Michelle Wiley, chamber vice president of membership and events. “I think the opportunity to learn something about yourself and your health for free is always great.”

The expo kicked off with a breakfast. Jeff Hill, a meteorologist with Fox 5 who recently suffered from complications of a heart disorder, was the guest speaker.

Wiley said Hill’s speech encouraged the attendees to be aware of their bodies and any symptoms they might be experiencing.

Arlene Franzus of Pendergrass said the free health screenings offer her reassurance. Without the expo, she said she would have to forgo general health screenings.

“I come every year to this health expo because I don’t have health insurance and this is one way I can do all those little tests and I don’t have to pay for it,” Franzus said. 

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