NIHHC Back-to-School Health Fair event a huge success for the community!
This past Saturday, July 25th, the Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition hosted a Back-to-School Health Fair to distribute free book bags and school supplies to children and several free health screenings to adults and children alike. The event was a huge success for our community with 251 adult participants receiving health screenings and 324 children receiving book bags with school supplies. This event was organized thanks to funding and generosity from the K21 Health Foundation, United Way of Kosciusko, Warsaw Community Schools, National Kidney Foundation of Indiana, Maple Leaf Farms, Anthem, Grace College & Seminary, MHS, and Parkview Warsaw.
Furthermore, the event would not have been possible without the passionate support we received from the 63 community volunteers, including health care professionals, who took part in the fair. Ralph Villalon, one of the volunteers from Lake City Bank, who was present with four other volunteers from the bank, stated: “I personally was tired at the end of the event yet I had a good time volunteering because I met wonderful volunteers that were all willing to do what was asked of them and more. I had fun participating as many of the volunteers had a good sense of humor and did not hesitate to joke. I would certainly volunteer to assist NIHHC in the future. I also felt a strong personal satisfaction for having assisted many of those less fortunate that attended and may otherwise not have the financial resources to have the health tests performed elsewhere.”
Furthermore, thanks to the generosity of Anthem and MHS, the NIHHC distributed 324 free book bags filled with school supplies to children grades K - 6th that arrived with their parents. One of the young participants said: “You have BLUE book bags, that’s awesome! I never get to pick the color but if I did, blue is what I would pick!”
In addition, the following exhibitors Anthem, Bowen Center, Brightpoint, Grace College & Seminary, Kosciusko Community Hospital, Kosciusko County Promise, Law Office of Travis J. McConnell, Masterson Chiropractic, MHS, NIHHC, Northern Indiana Maternal Child Health Network, Parkview Warsaw, and Warsaw Community Schools were in attendance to promote their services and educate participants about the community resources at their disposal.
Liliana Quintero, Executive Director of the NIHHC, had to say: “This Back-to-School health fair was a great example of the NIHHC’s mission in action, which aims to reduce health disparities by making health services accessible to everyone regardless of race, age, income, gender, or national origin. At this health fair, 69% of the attendees were Hispanics, 27% were white, and 4% were Asian or African Americans. Out of a total of 575 attendees, 44% were adults and 56% were children. Almost 3,000 free health screenings were offered—with each participant receiving a one-on-one explanation and referral, if necessary, to clinics appealing to their health and social needs. Also, each family received a copy of the new NIHHC 2015-2017 Community Resource Directory that we hope will empower and encourage them to take ownership of their health. Our success would not be possible without the support of our health care professionals, volunteers, and exhibitors who made each of the attendees feel welcome and who provided them with concrete recommendations on their health issues.
The NIHHC first opened its doors in Warsaw in 2010, and in the past fiscal year alone has offered a total of 24 health fairs and 7,560 free screenings to the community.
In addition to our health fairs, the NIHHC also holds routine health education programs and client-based services from our Warsaw office, located in the K21 Health Services Pavilion or from our main office, located in Elkhart. We are able to assist both English and Spanish speaking clients by helping them navigate the healthcare system, and finding solutions to their health care needs that work within their budget.
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