EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

March 17, 2010

Health fair offers free medical screenings

HAMPSTEAD — People can have everything from their eyes to their teeth to their bone density checked at no cost Saturday at a multi-community health fair.

The fair will be held at Hampstead Middle School from 9 a.m. to noon. It is the ninth year of the fair in Hampstead, said Bernadette Longbook, one of its organizers.

"It has certainly grown," she said.

Ten years ago, the town had two health fairs — one organized by Longbook and the Hampstead Lions, and another by Hampstead Middle School nurse Michelle Bernard. When Longbook began searching for a good spot to hold another fair, the two decided to team up.

In the years since, the fair has grown, attracting doctors and medical professionals from other parts of Southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and opening its doors to people from neighboring communities.

"We try to get the whole community involved," Longbook said.

This year's fair will include medical screenings by Dr. Thomas Cammilleri of Greater Hampstead Family Medicine, eye exams by Dr. James Valenti of Tallamn Eye Associates in Lawrence, and dental screenings from Plaistow Dental. There will also be holistic allergy treatment, depression and stress screenings, hearing exams and more.

"We have something for every age," Bernard said.

She said Hampstead Middle School tries to get students excited about the fair, and some teachers have even offered classroom incentives for students to come.

"It draws the parents in, too, to bring the kids," she said.

For the middle school set, Bernard is planning events to teach them the danger of smoking and drinking. There will be black lungs on display and a pair of goggles that show kids what it is like to be impaired.

The fire department will demonstrate how to perform CPR at 10 a.m. and what to do if someone is choking at 11 a.m. There will also be a Red Cross blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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