St. Bernards Health Expo returns

by George Jared ([email protected]) 247 views 

Northeast Arkansas’ largest annual event dedicated to community health and wellness, the St. Bernards Medical Group Health Expo, is slated to return Saturday (April 9) to First National Bank Arena in Jonesboro.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted organizers to shutter the event in 2020 and 2021, but recent hospitalization decreases provide an opportunity to hold the health expo in a safe environment, according to St. Bernards.

Dr. Devi Nair, chair of the event, said the expo needed to return to Northeast Arkansas.

“Each year, the health expo reaches our vulnerable populations who may otherwise go without vital health screenings and information,” Nair said. “And because we offer such a far-reaching comprehensive health event, each person who attends will benefit, regardless of their age, background or health history.”

This year’s health expo, formerly known as the health & fitness expo, will operate as a one-day event, not a two-day event as was the case in the past. It will offer numerous free health screenings from St. Bernards clinicians while providing face-to-face interaction with specialty and primary care providers through newly-established health pods. In addition, both the kids zone area and panel discussions return.

A blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross and an onsite job fair hosted by St. Bernards Healthcare gives attendees a chance to help replenish critically low blood supplies and explore new career opportunities in healthcare.

At the last event held in 2019, the health expo had more than 10,000 attendees and included hundreds of St. Bernards volunteers. Dr. Cade Martin, SBMG president, expressed his optimism that this year’s event may reach similar heights.

“Over the past two years, we’ve fielded many questions about bringing back the health expo,” Martin said. “I know the community is excited to see it return, and I look forward to the important free services we’ll provide.”