Since its inception, the Charleston Health & Wellness Expo has served to enhance the health and well-being of those who call the Lowcountry home, providing a convenient way for local residents to undergo screenings aimed at discovering the signs of small problems before they become disastrous medical issues. Not much has changed as the fifth annual iteration of the Expo approaches – except that a worldwide pandemic has encouraged people to pay more attention to their health in general and to their immune systems specifically.
Following a 22-month hiatus made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charleston Health & Wellness Expo is back – and it’s more important than ever, according to Cullen Murray-Kemp, publisher of HealthLinks magazine, which hosted its most recent Expo in January 2020, a few months before the coronavirus started its deadly march across the United States and the rest of the world. More than 100 vendors offering a wide range of health-related products, services and screenings are expected to interact with well over 1,000 participants between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Omar Shrine Temple Auditorium in Mount Pleasant.
“The Expo brings together health providers and institutions at a single location where health-oriented people can learn everything they need to know to live healthier lives,” Murray-Kemp said. “The pandemic has forced people to think more proactively about their health. One positive result of the pandemic has been an increased awareness of our health as individuals and as a community.”
The Medical University of South Carolina is the presenting sponsor of the Expo, while Absolute Total Care is the wellness sponsor. There is no admission charge to attend the fifth annual Charleston Health & Wellness Expo.
An array of screenings will be offered to participants, in areas including blood pressure and stroke; body mass index and glucose; digestive issues; sleep and anxiety; blood pressure; cancer; Crohn’s disease; incontinence; bone density; hearing; and fitness. Participants also will have the option to be tested for COVID-19, to receive COVID and flu vaccinations and to donate blood.
Besides the health-related aspects of the Expo, participants also will have the option to observe healthy cooking demonstrations. Murray-Kemp pointed out that all vendors have been encouraged to offer fun and interesting ways to interact with participants, “from giveaways to putting contests to sugar tests.” In addition, experts on subjects such as diet, mental health, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be interacting with attendees on the auditorium’s stage.
“The mission of the Expo is to bring together all the area’s top providers and to present health information to our community in the interest of improving health literacy in the Charleston area,” Murray-Kemp explained. “Against the backdrop of COVID, the Expo is an important concept because we want people to recognize the importance of supplements, vitamins and a healthy immune system.”
While HealthLinks and its partners are confident that the threat of the coronavirus has waned, they remain cautious and concerned about the safety of vendors and attendees. Masks will be provided to those who wish to wear them, hand sanitizer will be available and everyone will have their temperature taken as they enter the auditorium.