Hospital plans huge park event Interactive MEGA Body Exhibit, Health Expo in Ely Aug. 19

by Tom Coombe
Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital is turning 60 in style.
The hospital is marking its birthday next weekend with a major event at Whiteside Park with a giant, interactive body exhibit serving as the main attraction.
The MEGA Body Exhibit, an inflatable replica of the human body that stands 12 feet high, 15 feet wide, and 50 feet long, will stand out in the park, but the Aug. 19 event will include much, much more, starting with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m.
“It’s a free community event that we wanted to host and say thank you to the community for supporting quality health care in Ely and supporting us for 60 years,” said Jodi Martin, the hospital’s community benefits and public relations coordinator.
In addition to touring the larger-than-life exhibit, those who turn out will be able to watch health and fitness-related demonstrations, get free blood pressure and blood glucose tests, and visit an array of tables set up by more than a dozen area organizations - all with a health-related theme.
The event kicks off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring remarks from Ely Mayor Chuck Novak, hospital chief executive officer John Fossum and several others.
“All of the speakers will be speaking about something different, a lot about our history, our role in the community, changes in health care and how those will affect our hospital and community,” said Martin.
Dr. Sam Harms, the hospital’s orthopedic specialist, will be on hand to greet visitors, and food and beverages will be sold by the Northeast Range/Ely swim team and the Ely Touchdown Club.
Visitors’ heads are likely to turn to the sky around 11:30 a.m., when the Lifelink III emergency helicopter lands inside the park near Eighth Avenue East.
“The helicopter will land and they will be on site for tours throughout the day until 2 p.m.,” said Martin.
Most of the demonstrations will take place at the park bandshell and pavilion, while tables set up by groups ranging from the Ely Area Ambulance to the Alzheimer’s Association will be set up throughout the park.
The MEGA Body Exhibit, meanwhile, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to a website promoting the exhibit, “visitors learn how their bodies work and preventive measures to help avoid common diseases. The exhibit also teaches visitors about healthy living. Students will learn that the choices they make at an early age can have a huge effect on their well-being—today and in the future.”
The exhibit includes features about the brain, stomach, esophagus, kidneys, heart, teeth, blood, bones, lungs and other body functions.
Hand-in-hand with the exhibit are the tables and seminars and events all designed to promote community health - meshing with the hospital’s 60th birthday.
“We expect it to be a fun and festive day,” said Martin. “We hope the community and visitors alike come out and support the hospital and celebrate this milestone with us.”