Hundreds gathered at Community Healthcare System’s St. Mary Medical Center on Tuesday for one of the Region’s biggest health fairs, the Porter County TRIAD Health Expo. Featuring dozens of booths, free breakfast and lunch, and a pair of guest speakers, the expo equipped seniors with the knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy for years to come.
The Porter County TRIAD is a union of law enforcement, local seniors, and community businesses and organizations dedicated to serving seniors around Porter County. The expo is their biggest event of the year, and all manner of senior service providers set up inside St. Mary Medical Center’s Valparaiso Health Center to provide information.
“Education is everything,” said Cathy Ellis, President of Porter County TRIAD and Director of Business Development at Life Care Center of Valparaiso. “The more people that know about our services, the better, and the rest of these vendors can provide whatever else our community’s seniors might need. Education is what it’s about for everyone that’s here.”
In order to accomplish its mission of promoting the well-being and safety of senior citizens, TRIAD organizes a number of programs. One of the biggest is Project Lifesaver, which provides a watch/beacon that alerts law enforcement when seniors living with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive conditions wander away from home. TRIAD presented Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds with a check that will help keep the project funded.
Reynolds hosted one of the day’s two presentations. He discussed the different programs TRIAD offers and gave out other safety and security tips designed to help seniors stay protected in their homes. Chris Sheid, Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Community Healthcare System, thanked the Sheriff’s Department for making the event possible.
“I think TRIAD is very impressive,” Sheid said. “The people doing it are involved because they want to help the seniors of Porter County, and that’s certainly something that we at Community wanted to be a part of. So when I was able to chat with them about a partnership and hosting the expo, I said this is exactly the kind of organization we want to be involved in.”
Community’s Michael Knesek, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and medical director of sports medicine at St. Mary Medical Center, also gave a presentation that highlighted Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery. This new system from Stryker Orthopedics helps surgeons create a personalized surgical experience that diminishes pain, shortens rehab, and reduces the likelihood of post-surgical complications.
Meanwhile, the vendors offered information about all kinds of services, from senior living communities, home health care, chiropractic services, and hospice care. Rittenhouse Villages of Valparaiso and Portage, Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso, StoryPoint Chesterton, Center for Hospice Care, and VNA of Northwest Indiana were just a few of the organizations that talked with the visiting seniors about their healthcare options.
“TRIAD and this expo are amazing,” said Benjamin Van Sickle, Community Liaison for VNA of NWI. “It’s something that every county desperately needs, but especially Porter County. This county is not only growing, it’s also aging at the same time. We want to make sure that we’re a big part of that aging community so that they know we’re here to help.”
Expo attendees also enjoyed free screenings in bone density, blood pressure, one-minute EKG, and pulmonary function, while Walgreens offered flu shots. Oak Partners, Inc., Chase Bank, and FirstLight Home Care sponsored lunch.