Anderson’s skills key to Health Fair
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By Jud Snyder  January 18, 2013 12:00 am


Turn your calendar pages now and circle the date Saturday, Oct. 5, for this is the date for the annual RP Community Health Fair.  It will be held in the Community Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and admission is free. Got that done? OK. Now we can get to the organizational skills of the brains behind this event.

It’s Pat Anderson, RN, well-known health advocate and a driving force in the city’s ongoing campaign to maintain healthy lives for everyone residing here.

“We didn’t have a health fair last year – too many complications got in the way,” she said. “Labor disputes like a threatened nurses strike at a hospital, shortage of personnel and general nervousness over the economic recession. But this year’s different.

“The big players like Memorial Hospital, Sutter Hospital, Redwood Empire Blood Bank have already indicated verbal support.

“We’re getting great  cooperation from the city with John MacArthur, head of the Public Works Department, and Guy Miller from the Callinan Sports Center on the organizing team,” Anderson added. “In addition, we’ll have flu shots for the flu season coming our way from the east in September, Jewish Free Clinic will be participating along with many other family planning groups.

Public Safety officers will be here with a fire truck and ambulance, physical fitness gymnasiums will have information booths, and so will many dentists, nutrition booths will be among the participants. We’ll also have Hispanic translators available to assist newcomers. Girl Scouts and students from The Ranch and Sonoma State U will be volunteering to act as information guides.”

It’s quite a package Anderson has planned. If you need further information about participating this October, Anderson can be reached at 795-7695. She’s been doing this for years before the Community Center was built, working with Sue Boling of the recreation department in clinics at the Burton Avenue rec center and the senior center, “Oh, for about 40  years, I guess, of checking blood pressure for seniors.”

If there’s anyone who knows the actual “pulse” of the community, it has to be Pat Anderson. She’s now teaching a family health class at Cross & Crown Lutheran Church every week.

The former Patricia Nye was born 70 years ago in Pennsylvania, educated in local schools and college and moved to California to earn her Master’s degree in nursing and community health at University of California San Francisco. She married the late Carl Anderson, MD, in 1969, and they settled in Sonoma County.

“The goal of the Health Fair is to create a healthy community. We can do this with all the contributions from those with the same goal,” she said. “The participants bring the knowledge and the citizens can pick up this vital knowledge. It’s not just a service for seniors, it’s for every age from pre-birth to infancy and on up to those who have reached the 100-year mark.”

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