Image Credit: Edgar Padilla

Health Fair Helps 277 Families

Washington Conference office was transformed into a community health resource fair for four hours on Sept. 11, 2022.

“It was a full-service operation with lots of community partners,” said Elida Jerez, Washington Conference health ministries director. “We even had food trucks!”

The health fair provided free screenings and services for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose/diabetes, HIV testing, COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, hepatitis B & C tests, body mass index, physical therapy treatment, dental exams, mammograms, health insurance enrollment, ORCA cards, and immigration relief fund application plus free haircuts, free food and free clothing.

“A lot of people — especially women — don’t have insurance (or enough insurance) or a way to get to testing,” said Viti, after her experience at the community health fair. “Things like blood pressure or sugar levels, you can buy those tests at CVS or any pharmacy. Things like mammograms, you need a specialist and special equipment.”

“We saw community groups and faith-based groups all come together to service 10–15 different language groups,” noted Derek Lane, Washington Conference outreach ministries director. “Everyone is in different places and spaces of life. To be able to have an assortment of services available allows people to pick and choose what services are needed most.”

Community partners included Center for MultiCultural Health, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Mercy Missions Mobile Dental Clinic, Integrated Health and Wellness, Coordinated Care, Seattle & King County Public Health, The Firm Outreach, Community Health Plan, Providence ElderPlace, Hepatitis Education Project and more.

Lane shared how local Adventist churches have been networking with community health organizations for health fairs at Maranatha, Kent, Federal Way and next in Sammamish.

In all, the community health fair in Federal Way with 57 volunteers serviced 277 under resourced families, 41 walk-ins, 26 dental patients and 14 mammogram patients.

“This community health fair was a beautiful event where we could be the hands, feet and heart of Christ to our under resourced neighbors,” Lane said. “We hope to encourage additional church communities to host health fairs in the future.”

Featured in: November/December 2022