Reaching under-served areas of the community and their health needs will be the focus of an upcoming community health fair at Flagg Chapel Baptist Church.
“We want to mainly reach the under-served population in Baldwin County and bring services the insured might not be able to otherwise afford,” said Kristy Johnson, community outreach coordinator for Oconee Regional Medical Center (ORMC). “We want to help bridge that gap and access to health care.”
Slated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at Flagg Chapel, located at 400 W Franklin St., the event is a collaborative effort between ORMC, Baldwin County Family Connection, Family Medical of Milledgeville and Live Healthy Baldwin.
“About one in nine or 10 people in Milledgeville have Type 2 diabetes,” said Jim Lidstone, Live Healthy Baldwin advocate and director of Georgia College’s Center for Health and Social Issues. “We hope to get a great turnout from the community; this is a great opportunity.”
Complimentary screenings will include hearing, vision, dental, blood pressure, blood sugar and bone density. A healthy cooking demonstration will also be provided by the ORMC chef, and the Milledgeville Community Garden Association will demonstrate how to create and maintain a container garden. Live Healthy Baldwin will handle a kids zone with various physical activities, including a scavenger hunt. A CPR demonstration will also be given.
“A mobile dental bus will be on site for children, not for cleanings, but for any dental screenings, education about keeping teeth clean and provide referrals for anyone who may need cleanings,” Johnson said. “We will have about 10 to 12 short breakout sessions throughout the event on various health topics, including stress management, nutrition, high blood pressure and stroke prevention, STDs, women’s health, aging and respite care, kidney health and sleep disorders.”
According to the local Family Connection’s community assessment conducted in March 2013, 25.2 percent of the 45,720 Baldwin County residents live below the poverty level. The poverty rate for children under age 18 in Baldwin County is 31.6 percent, and approximately the same percentage of children who qualify for free or reduced meals at school.
“The hospital also did a community assessment and we both found a large portion of the county population in the southside area have trouble with diabetes and heart disease,” said Janet Cavin, coordinator of the local Family Connection. “We’re hoping to focus the community health fair on families and children on that part of town to provide them with information, screenings and opportunities to look at different ways to change their lifestyles.”
Those in attendance at the community health fair can enter a raffle for a chance to win bicycles and gift cards.
“We have some challenges in our community and we’re hoping to work together to meet some of those needs,” Cavin said. “Hopefully the community health fair will become an annual event.”
For more information about the upcoming event, or to register as a vendor, call Johnson at 478-457-2351 or email email@example.com.