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Bend Park and Rec hosts first Health and Wellness fair in three years

'I’ve lived in this community, but I’m not necessarily aware of everything that it has to offer.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For the first time since 2019, the Bend Park and Rec District's Health and Wellness Fair at the Larkspur Community Center has returned.

Brenda Chilcott, the facility manager, said she was excited Tuesday event is back. 

“We’ve been doing a Health and Wellness Fair since 2004 here at (what was) formerly the Bend Senior Center,” Chilcott said. ‘It’s a big part of older-adult living, learning about community resources.”

She said Tuesday's event was one part of the Bend Park and Rec “For the Health of It” campaign, and featured more than 50 health and wellness providers, for all Central Oregonians.

“You know, it’s open to people of all ages,” Chilcott said. “Of course, a lot of our frequent users here at Larkspur are older adults, but we have families that are here.”

The goal of the fair is to provide health and wellness resources of every kind, such as vaccines by Deschutes County Health, information booths, free screenings and even free massages.

Janet Skovran is retired and lives in Bend, and enjoys nutrition and keeping herself physically fit.

“You know, I’ve lived in this community, but I’m not necessarily aware of everything that it has to offer,” Skovran said. 

She said she knows health can get more difficult as you get older, and she’s glad the fair is back to help connect her.

“Until you need a service, you don’t always know what’s available in your community, and sometimes you need something quickly. And it’s nice to know what we have available to us as seniors,” Skovran said.

Merlynn Arnett, a nurse practitioner who lives in Redmond, agrees.

“I just like to see what’s available that I can recommend for people I’m working with, and for my own personal health,” Arnett said. 

She added that she knows how vital having timely health services can be.

"I think it's an educational opportunity that happens all in one place that a lot of people don’t … aren’t (usually) able to access,” Arnett said.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


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