Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Plains community health fair draws big crowd

by TRACY SCOTT Valley Press
| March 27, 2024 12:00 AM

Medical professionals and nonprofit organizations filled the Plains School gymnasium Saturday for the first ever Community Health Fair. Sponsored in part by the Clark Fork Enrichment Corporation and the Clark Fork Valley Hospital, the event was attended by several local businesses. 

The idea of bringing together medical professionals, physical fitness people and community organizations was first conceived by Plains School Superintendent Kathleen Walsh back in December. 

“I contacted the Clark Fork Enrichment Corporation to help us sponsor a wellness fair for the community," Walsh explained. "They gave us a grant to help support it. I joined partners with the hospital and sent out letters of invitations to other members of the community. That’s why we have the Big Horn, ambulance core, the dentist office, and others to bring the community together and show everyone what’s available and how they can best use the resources available to them.”

Two of the medical professionals attending were Plains school graduates. Dr. Barbara Steward, who recently finished her residency and is now practicing at the Clark Fork Valley Hospital along with Dr. David Boharski, specializing in surgical procedures. 

Another home-grown success story, he graduated high school in 1983. 

“In high school I had an opportunity to do a work study program at the hospital," Boharski said. "I spent one period a day my entire senior year getting experience in the operating room and taking care of patients.” 

After finishing school and his residence program, he came back to Plains and started his practice in 1996.

One of the many organizations that were on hand was Camp Bighorn. The camp, located near Quinn’s Hot Springs, was founded in 1985 and combines Christian principles with outdoor activities. 

The Plains Woman’s Club was on hand to promote community activities coming in 2024. They have a rummage and bake sale at the VFW building April 6. 

One of our newest businesses in town, Warrior Fitness, is located across from City Hall. They are a gym facility dedicated to safe fun and educational health with classes and tanning. They now have Yoga classes. 

Linda Bursell was on hand explaining to attendees her weight loss clinic called TOP. Two representatives, Dr. Gillig Connor and Brandon Fowler, from the rehabilitation department of Clark Fork Valley Hospital, were demonstrating physical therapy techniques. 

Dr. Blake Sherwood and his wife Dana representing their dental business, Mt West Dentist. Dr. Sherwood said they were busy and were hoping to hire an additional hygienist. 

For those interested in handheld radios, The Clark Fork Valley Amateur Radio Club’s president, Lyle Holyoak spoke about the importance of radio communications during times of emergency. They hold monthly meetings at the Church on the Move the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.

Free blood pressure and blood type checks were given, along with a show and tell with a surgery table display. Prizes were handed out during the fair as well as giveaways and refreshments.

Walsh said that she hopes we could make this an annual event for the community.

    Physical therapist Brandon Fowler demonstrates techniques used for patient rehabilitation at the health fair in Plains. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)
    MT West Dentist owners Dr. Blake Sherwood and his wife Dana. (Tracy Scott/Valley Press)