People flocked to the 25th annual Grant County Family Health Fair, packing into the county fairgrounds pavilion in John Day for what coordinator Chris Yriarte said was a successful event.

Yriarte said most of their regular vendors returned, and they had several new faces this year.

Committee members helping Yriarte included Veanne Weddle of Senior Services, Lisa Rynearson from the Forest Service, Jessica Winegar from the Grant County Health Department, Marcy Wasiluk from Strawberry Wilderness Community Clinic and Jim and Lynette Sullens who are retired from the Forest Service.

The venue moved from Grant Union Junior-Senior High School, where it was held in year’s past, to the Grant County Fairgrounds.

Yriarte said the move made sense because they had been transporting the tables and chairs, borrowed from the fairgrounds, to the school. Now, they have everything in one spot.

Also new this year was a kids zone where children could get creative, painting rocks or playing with puppets, along with other activities.

Jeremy Buller, trauma coordinator at St. Charles Medical Center in Redmond, had several small groups signing up for training in “Stop the Bleed” where he taught simple techniques.

Members of the Grant County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team were among those receiving training.

“You don’t need specialty equipment to control life-threatening bleeding,” Buller said. “The goal is to train as many people as we can.”

Another new addition to this year’s health fair was an American Red Cross blood drive.

Aleah Johns, who will be a senior at Prairie City School this fall, helped coordinate the event for her senior project.

There were several new vendors including Canyon Mountain Center owners Jim and Sandy Bay, who brought a portable labyrinth; ODS Community Dental of Portland; Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace; John Day Farmers Market; Childcare Resource & Referral; Families First Parent Resource Center; and OSU’s Food Hero booth.

Tai chi instructor Krish Hamilton led a couple well-attended demonstrations in the practice.

Wasiluk had information about a Community Health Worker program the clinic is launching in July, which will support people with chronic disease management and can include in-home visits.

Several booths were led by the clinic, Blue Mountain Hospital and the Grant County Health Department.

Yriarte said the committee created a new way to lead visitors through all the booths by using a “passport.”

Those filling their passport, which often led to interactions with those manning booths, could be entered into a drawing for prizes.

Prizes for children filling out passports included a boys and girls bicycle, with a helmet, and fishing poles.

“It’s a great turnout,” Yriarte said, adding some were there for the blood draws or blood donations, and some came for both.

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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