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Porter County TRIAD Health Expo Highlights NWI Senior Care Options


On Tuesday, Community Healthcare System’s Valparaiso Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center played host to one of the Region’s biggest health fairs of the year: the Porter County TRIAD Health Expo. With dozens of vendors, free continental breakfast and lunch, and several health and safety, the event helped visitors to learn more about senior healthcare services around the Region.

The Porter County TRIAD, led by President Cathy Ellis of Life Center of Valparaiso, is a union of law enforcement, local seniors, and community healthcare providers and social organizations that are dedicated to enriching and protecting the lives of seniors around Porter County. This year’s annual health expo, hosted at the Valparaiso Health Center in partnership with the St. Mary Medical Center, brings together senior service providers in order to educate Region residents about their service and care options.

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“This is important for two reasons, one being that TRIAD has been around for almost 20 years and there are still people who don’t know what we do, such as offering bracelets like Project Lifesaver,” said TRIAD Vice President Danielle Balek. “But it’s also to let not just seniors, but the community as a whole, know what’s available to them.”

Project Lifesaver is a bracelet that is used to locate seniors who might wander due to cognitive conditions. The bracelet was just one of many tools on display, among other free services like bone density screenings, blood pressure tests, and tons of information from organizations such as Rittenhouse Village, a network of senior living communities.

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“Today, we’re out here representing the many seniors around the community that need direction, information, and deserve someone who will communicate with them and give answers to the questions that they have,” said Alexis Pozdol, Senior Lifestyle Councilor of Rittenhouse Village at Valparaiso. “This gives the community the opportunity to see everything that’s available to them, plus there’s health screenings, food, and a lot of fun!”

According to Brandy Costello, Director of Business Development at the Life Care Center of the Willows, a rehabilitation facility in Valparaiso, the expo and events like it go a long way toward helping seniors and their loved ones feel less anxious when searching for the help they need.

“When we have families that come in and take tours, it’s overwhelming for them after going from facility to facility, since Northwest Indiana is so saturated with quality care options,” Costello said. “This event is great because it’s an opportunity to sit down and talk with everybody here, it takes out the element of rushing and looking for a place for mom or dad. Here, they can listen rather than look.”

Speakers at the event included Electrophysiologist Samer Ajam, MD, a specialist in cardiac rhythm disorders on staff at St. Mary Medical Center, Evelyn Harris, Program Director at the United Way of Porter County, and Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds. They all offered tips and strategies for seniors to stay active, healthy, and engaged with the community. Everything came together to make it an exciting, informative, and fun event according to Chris Sheid, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for St. Mary Medical Center.

“I think people like coming to events like this because they can always learn something new,” said Chris Sheid, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for St. Mary Medical Center. “We want to thank TRIAD for asking us to host their event here, because part of our mission is to engage with the local community and facilitate education. The more information people have, the more empowered they are.”

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