Generation Health Fairs Bring Together Family, Community

(L.) Joshua and Patrick McPherson – sons of Regulated Generation Safety Consultant Brad McPherson, have their blood pressure taken by WVU pharmacy students. (R.) Fort Martin I&C technicians Enoch Sutton (l.) and Justin Craig pet a tarantula held by Vicki Kondo at the Fort Martin Health Fair.

July 12, 2019

It was rainy and unseasonably chilly on June 15, but that didn’t dampen spirits at the Harrison Power Station’s annual health fair. Dozens of vendors and scores of employees and their relatives filled a series of tents lining the plant parking area.

A week later, the Fort Martin Power Station celebrated the state’s June 20 West Virginia Day holiday with the site’s 20th annual health fair. Another rainy day, and another huge crowd.

Each year, the regulated generation plants’ health fairs bring out the families of those who work on the sites, as well as dozens of community partners. Although the atmosphere is festive, these fairs are serious business where fair partners offer a broad variety of health tips and medical tests.

“Just about every year we find at least one person who has a serious health problem that otherwise might not have been discovered early,” said John Holt, Fort Martin I&C Maintenance technician who heads the plant health fair team. “That chance for early intervention is something you can’t put a price on.”

“It’s good to be able take advantage of the opportunity for these screenings,” said April McPherson, wife of Regulated Generation Safety Consultant Brad McPherson, who came with sons Joshua and Patrick. “And the boys enjoy it every year.”

Over the years the fairs have grown beyond physical health, with partners now including banks and investment firms, nutritional assistance, mental health specialists, retirement specialists and more.

“We add topics and areas that our employees believe are important,” said John. “We started with 15 vendors. This year we have 55.”

“I’ve been coming to this health fair for 20 years,” said West Virginia University Research Assistant Vicki Kondo who showcased a unique collection of live insects from the university Insect Zoo. “I started coming to Fort Martin to teach workers about how to avoid spider bites and wasp and bee stings, then started coming to the health fairs. I think it’s an excellent way for FirstEnergy to reach out and be involved in our community.”

“These fairs are a grass roots effort, and employee-driven,” said John. “We’re grateful for the company support. It brings the community together. And the important thing is, we’re helping people stay healthy.”