A successful Latino Health Fair was held on March 4th, 2013. It was organized by UNC Center for Latino Health (CELAH) in partnership with St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Many UNC Clinics and community programs collaborated in the event. It was a one-day, outreach event that gave the Latino community free access to basic health screenings and health resources. With the initiative from CELAH Clinic and St. Thomas Moore Church, the fair made valuable health information available to the Latino community. Bilingual staff was available to provide guidance and help members of the Latino community feel at home. Health screenings available included blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and dental examinations along with many other health services. The UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders was represented by Dr. Mae Lynn Reyes-Rodríguez and her PAS Project research staff. We educated Latinos about the importance of healthy eating habits and spent a great deal of time explaining healthy foods and portion sizes. We also provided information about PAS Project and the free treatment being offered to Latina adults who are suffering from eating disorders. Monica Gulisano, RD, LDN, the dietitian on the PAS Project, offered an orientation to the impact of healthy eating patterns on chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
One critical feature of this Health Fair event was that there was no language barrier. This made it an attractive and user-friendly venue for the Latino community to receive basic health information on preventing and treating a range of health conditions. The attendees were grateful that professionals were on hand who could answer their questions and concerns in Spanish. Without the language barrier, the Fair created a comfortable atmosphere that allowed the attendees to open up and express any doubts or questions related to their health issues. The attendees left more knowledgeable about general health issues, their own health status, and where they can seek treatment in the community. We can’t wait to participate again next year in the Latino Health Fair event!
By: Marissa Garcia (PAS Project)