August 03, 2005

FOOD, FUN AND GOOD HEALTH AT THE FAIR

Guest Opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo

FOOD, FUN AND GOOD HEALTH AT THE FAIRGuest opinion submitted by Idaho Senator Mike CrapoAugust and early September means many things across Idaho: harvest, outdoor recreation, fall and school year preparations, summer projects, and in many communities across Idaho, a local, county or regional fair. The fair is a time of family, friends, friendly competition, smells (good and bad!), rides, games and celebration. What better time to think about the importance of good health? With that in mind, I invite you to visit the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booth at a regional fair in your area.Five years ago, I started a health awareness booth at the Western Idaho Fair. Since then, the booth has been expanded to fairs in Filer, Blackfoot and Coeur dâ??Alene. I have partnered with regional medical centers, local nurses and physicians and others in the public, private and non-profit health care field to make these important screening centers a reality. I can personally attest to the importance of health screenings, as I was alerted to early stage prostate cancer from just such a test done long before physical symptoms had occurred. Catching it early, the doctors were able to perform necessary surgery and give me a clean bill of health. And I learned recently that screenings must continue even after youâ??ve been given a clean bill of health. My prostate cancer re-emerged after five years and this past spring, I again underwent a series of treatments to eliminate the cancer. After follow-up assessments this summer, I am pleased to report that the radiation treatment appears to be successful thus far. Earlier this year, I introduced the Menâ??s Health Act which would establish an office of Menâ??s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) providing men similar gender-specific health services and information currently provided to women through the Office of Womenâ??s Health also located in HHS. The Senate just passed a Resolution designating September 2005 as â??Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.â?? In 2004, I formed the Congressional Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Caucus in order to raise awareness among my colleagues of the pervasiveness and lethal nature of this disease. This year, my health awareness booths will be at the North Idaho Fair in Coeur dâ??Alene from August 24 to August 28; in Filer at the Twin Falls County Fair from August 31 through September 2; in Blackfoot at the Eastern Idaho State Fair from September 3 to September 10; and in Garden City at the Western Idaho Fair from August 19 to August 28. We have a team of dedicated volunteers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to help you be proactive about your health. Along with prostate and breast cancer screenings, visitors to the booths (depending on the location) will be able to have glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat levels checked.This summer as you and your family enjoy the tastes, sights, sounds and smells of your local fair, consider taking a step that could result in many more years of these memories. Visit the health awareness booth at the fair in your area, and use this valuable opportunity to preserve your long-term good health. Please remember to thank the volunteers and enjoy the fair!WORD COUNT: 525