Community Health Fair Offers Screening and Education
Baton Rouge, La. » An African proverb says, “Giving leaves an imprint that endures forever.” According to coordinators Trudy McClain, Sonja Miller, and Glenda Peeler, this was the premise behind our recent community health fair held at Berean Academy. The event marked still another opportunity for the church to fulfill its role of giving back to the community. The morning began with a continental breakfast, followed later by a scrumptious vegetarian lunch that promoted healthy eating.
The well-attended fair was designed to accommodate all age groups, and featured face painting for children and the more daring adults, including Robert Davis, Berean’s pastor. As well, the children had free access to a range of children’s literature. One of the district fire departments gave children lessons in fire and bicycle safety. Bookmarks and handouts, all bearing safety messages, helped reinforce the instruction.
The day’s activities not only provided the usual health checks, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, hearing, and visual, but sickle cell anemia and HIV and STD screenings as well, with the latter being handled in a private setting. Southern University’s nurse-managed clinic (the Jag Mobile), Wal-Mart’s vision center, the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation, the American Heart Association, and Earl K. Long Hospital were among the agencies providing the screenings. Social services that focused on strengthening family relationships came from corporate programs, such as Family Roads, Louisiana Kidmed, and Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area. Even area physicians got in on the “giving back” act with their lectures on cardiovascular diseases, prostate disorders, and diabetes. Bible workers Ralph Ford and Margaret Lawrence did their part to address attendees’ spiritual needs. Their tables offered Bible lessons and an assortment of denominational reading material. As the fair came to an end, there was no denying that in satisfying the physical, nutritional, and spiritual needs of those attending, the program helped to fulfill the promise of Jeremiah 30:17: “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.”