WRC-TV (Channel 4) held its 25th annual NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center over the weekend, featuring over 200 exhibitions that showcased dozens of health vendors, workout demos and cooking classes.
The two-day event, noted for being one of the largest of its kind in the country, also featured an exhibit by Howard University Hospital, one of the few health care organizations that have attended the expo since its inception 25 years ago.
“The NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo provides a unique opportunity to connect and engage with local residents on a personal level, regarding their health and wellness in a conducive environment,” said Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, the hospital’s chief medical officer. “With more than two decades of participation at this event, we remain steadfast in our longstanding commitment to provide area residents with exceptional health care service.”
The event gave attendees the opportunity to take part in a multitude of free health screenings, seek expert medical advice, schedule real-time appointments and discuss their individual health and wellness.
Howard’s exhibit proved effective in providing well-needed information.
“The importance of getting a routine health screening is a critical component to managing your health,” McDonald-Pinkett said. “In most cases, an early detection means the availability of more treatment options and also lowers the risk of serious complications, which may result in better outcomes for the patient.”
A hot-button topic at the expo was uterine fibroids, a non-cancerous tumor that grows within the walls of the female uterus. According to the National Institute of Health, most American women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives. By the age 50, 80 percent of Black females will have had the condition.
The White Dress Project, a Black-owned nonprofit, was at the forefront of the push for fibroid education during the expo, disseminating vital information about their group to participants while walking around the expo.
“We want to educate people on fibroids,” said Amber Coleman, who helped distribute the information. “Unfortunately a lot of women will get fibroids and not even know that they have them, so our mission is to make sure that the community is more aware. Fibroids can really impact your health including the way women carry and deliver children, so it’s not just a physical issue, it can also be a mental one and we really want to end that stigma.”
The event concluded Sunday with prize raffles, music, food and high-energy Zumba and yoga instructors conducting free sessions.