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Central Library Women's Health Fair Wednesday part of larger wellness effort

The Buffalo & Erie County Library System is about to bring more resources to bear when it comes to community wellness.

The Central Library will host a Women’s Health Fair that will include healthy cooking and tai chi demonstrations, health screenings and a talk by Mary Travers-Murphy, executive director of the Family Justice Center. The event is free and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday on the first and second floors of the library, at 1 Lafayette Square.

“We’re in the early stages of ramping up our profile in terms of community health,” said Renee Masters, an outreach librarian in Information Services who organized the event with Beth Nicastro, a nurse practitioner with Catholic Health.

It’s part of a larger effort spurred by a national Health Happens in Libraries initiative designed to help libraries and museums across the country design effective ways to share information that can boost public health. The Buffalo & Erie County system is among five in the U.S. chosen for that responsibility among 74 applicants.

The hope is that Masters, who is also a registered nurse, and others can improve access to accurate health information, particularly in rural and city communities.

“We’re being put in the spotlight for other libraries as to how you can work with your community to spread many different kinds of messages falling under the community health topic,” she said.

Joy Testa Cinquino, assistant deputy director of the library system, said the initiative will add to efforts already in place, including the online health section at buffalolib.org.

Highlights of the fair include:

  • A healthy cooking demonstration at 10:30 a.m. and a tai chi demonstration at 12:30 p.m.
  • A talk by Travers-Murphy at noon entitled, “Is This an Unhealthy Relationship?” The fair’s focus is on women’s health “encompasses family health, relationship health,” Masters said.
  • Zumba and kickboxing from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
  • Interactive exhibits, educational materials, bone density, cholesterol and blood pressure testing stations, chair massages, and the chance to win a FitBit Zip and other prizes.

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