Visitors to the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville this month can get information and expert guidance on health, wellness and family assistance programs at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) exhibit.
The fair is Aug. 17-27 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, and the CHFS exhibit in the Health Horizons area of South Wing B will feature information to help support the strategies of Gov. Matt Bevin’s Kentucky HEALTH (Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health) initiative, his Medicaid transformation proposal, which empowers individuals to improve their health and well-being through healthy lifestyle habits.
CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said the CHFS exhibit will encourage fair visitors to follow healthy patterns like choosing nutritious foods, getting regular physical activity and regularly seeing a doctor.
“In the spirit of Kentucky HEALTH, our CHFS staff at the state fair will encourage individuals to take meaningful steps toward improving their health with the help of our programs,” Glisson said. “There is so much we can do on our own, too, like choosing to stop smoking, buying ingredients for meals at the local farmers market and fitting in walking or other exercise every day.”
Glisson said that for many guests at the fair, meeting with an expert and talking about health concerns in such a relaxed environment can be a first step toward meeting wellness goals.
“Lifestyle modifications can contribute to chronic disease prevention, savings in health costs, and ultimately, a longer life,” she said. “Every day, our exhibit will offer new information about how to ensure a healthier lifestyle by making good decisions about nutrition, daily activity and behavioral health. It’s not easy, and many of our programs offer families help toward better well-being.”
The interactive display will feature learning activities for children and adults, free health screenings and on-site health educators who can speak one-to-one about wellness and prevention.
The exhibit includes a 45-foot dental screening van, sponsored by CHFS, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Medical staff will offer free dental screenings to children entering public school kindergarten or first grade who have signed consent from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Duffle Bag and Backpack Drive
Also to help children in foster care, CHFS is collecting new duffel bags and backpacks at its display. Children in foster care will receive the bags to carry their belongings. Everyone is encouraged to bring a bag or backpack with them to the fair and place it in our donation bin.
CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said that the need for bags surprises a lot of people.
“Often times, when children are removed from their home and placed into state care, all their belongings are literally stuffed into a black garbage bag,” Secretary Glisson said. “Can you image how that makes them feel? No child deserves to be given a trash bag for their belongings. This effort changes that.”
Visitors and media are invited to ask top experts about several Cabinet programs on special “focus days.” From 10 a.m. to noon, the Cabinet leadership will be on site to speak with guests and reporters about some of the agency’s highest priorities.
Glisson said the “focus day” topics include dental health (Aug. 17), foster care and adoption (Aug. 23), Zika education (Aug. 24) and substance use disorder (Aug. 25).
“Substance abuse is our state’s No. 1 public health issue,” Secretary Glisson said. “We will have experts on hand to talk about harm reduction education, behavioral health referral services, prescription drug abuse prevention and family preservation efforts that are making a difference in the fight against this terrible epidemic.”
Media and guests can also talk to dental health experts including Dental Director Dr. Julie McKee about improvements to oral health and the state’s updated Strategic Oral Health Plan.
When Zika education and mosquito prevention is in the spotlight, guests can learn about how to protect against harmful mosquitoes and even pose for pictures with life-size Marty Mosquito, who travels the state educating families how to “Fight the Bite.”
Glisson said the cabinet’s new Adoption Czar, Daniel Dumas, and several adoptive families plan to join her on the foster care and adoption “focus day” the morning of Aug. 23.
“Every child deserves a safe and loving home,” Glisson said. “For children in foster care, safe reunification is always the goal. But when that cannot happen, we look for other families to open their hearts and their homes. Families considering that journey can learn more at our fair exhibit just by having a conversation with a veteran recruiter or adoptive parent.”
More CHFS Staff Providing Services at the Fair
In the South Wing, the cabinet’s Nutrition Services Branch staff will assist visitors with the Rock and Relax room, sponsored by Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness and Baptist East Hospital. Parents can stop by to privately and comfortably nurse, feed or change their infants and learn about breastfeeding and baby safety.
And throughout the fair, inspectors from the Food Safety Program of the Department for Public Health will be monitoring food services.
Fair Admission and Hours
Exhibit buildings at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center are open daily at 9 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Advance tickets are $7 for adults, seniors and children; free for children 5 years and under. Parking in advance is $5 per vehicle (car and bus). Advance discount prices are available through 10 p.m., Aug. 16, at Kroger and online at http://www.kystatefair.org and on the Kentucky State Fair app.
Admission at the gate is $10 for adults, seniors and children; free for children 5 years and under.
Parking after Aug. 16 and at the gate is $10 per car.