‘Miracles happen where you plant them’ was printed on the t-shirts of more than 425 Costa Layman Farms’ employees at the 7th Annual Interdisciplinary Health Fair on July 20, 2012 in Trenton, S.C.
Costa Layman Farms, one of the leading perennial companies in the U.S., teamed up with Georgia Health Sciences University College of Nursing (GHSU) to plant other miracles: free health assessments for farm workers and academic hours for student nurses.
The health fair featured dental screenings, HIV testing, cholesterol and glucose screenings, pulmonary function testing, grip strength and screenings for vision, bone density, sleep apnea, height, weight, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol and glucose and body mechanics classes.
“The comprehensive health screenings provided by GHSU are of the highest caliber and a wonderful benefit we are able to offer our employees,” says Debbie Layman from Costa Layman Farms and founder of the health fair.
“We are extremely fortunate to partner with GHSU who has helped us build the health fair from a very basic event to a sophisticated health screening event with nursing students receiving clinical experience unlike any other rotation they have in school,” she says.
Employee turnout was at its highest this year and community involvement continues to grow, according to Layman, who is a GHSU College of Nursing alumna, and serves on the College of Nursing’s Advancement Committee and as a trustee for the GHSU Foundation.
“The feedback from our employees is always very positive. A clean bill of health gives them a sense of hope and is something they can be proud of,” Layman says.
Participants, organizers and doctors all agree that this event is beneficial for everyone involved. “The employees obtain health care, the employer builds morale and the nurses acquire a number of working hours from one place,” says Dr. Jo Ellen McDonough, one of the founding doctors of the health fair.
For the third consecutive year, Dr. Ben Herz, chairman of the Occupational Therapy Department, directed a body mechanics class to demonstrate proper ways to lift, push and pull heavy objects. Dr. Herz described this event as a model for an industry-wide effort.
As the Costa Layman Farms health fair continues to grow, it hopes to set an example for other nurseries in the industry. “We don’t say safety first, we say safety always,” says second generation, Christina Layman Holmes.