St. John A.M.E. Church in South Miami recently hosted its 12th annual community Health Fair, featuring healthcare providers and screenings with beneficial lifestyle information “with a better turnout and more services available this year than former years,” said Rev. Gladys Turner, church pastor.
Tanesha Taft of Community Health of South Florida, Inc. provided details about government health programs, referring to herself as the “application expert.” “Women are getting involved with their health and understand that early intervention is important to good health,” said Tabitha Derenoncourt with CHI for more than seven years, noting the Center record that provides Level Three patient care and greater access to healthcare. CHI has a Sunset Drive location in South Miami, one of several in Miami-Dade County.
Both Florida Atlantic University and Baptist Health South Florida conducted health screenings and assessments while state-of-the-art mobile units from FIU were available for tours outside the Church. Among them: the Linda Fenner Mammography Health Facility, a 45-foot custom clinic on wheels offering free 3D mammograms for women lacking health insurance coverage, operated by FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Funds supporting the unit have been donated by the Batchelor Foundation and automotive dealer Norman Braman in honor of his sister-in-law who succumbed to breast cancer.
Lorraine Nowakowski, Program Director of NeighborhoodHELPFlorida, explained joint program using mobile units, provided by FIU and South Miami Hospital that weekly bring healthcare to an estimated 100 families in need in South Miami, as well as home visits by interdisciplinary student teams or health outreach workers.
“The Neighborhood program aims to break down barriers to quality healthcare and build trust. These medical units are not factories; we spend 60 to 90 minutes with patients if necessary,” said Nowakowski.
State Attorney office representatives offered information about S.T.A.R.T. aiding children with productive ways to deal with crisis situations, and Second Chance, a criminal record-sealing and expungement program.
South Miami Police through Officer Lopez discussed safety programs for children, including a tour of the police department. Information packets were distributed detailing “WHALE” (We Have A Little Emergency), a child safety seat occupant identification program that includes ID stickers for car windows.
Other services and representatives attending included: HIV information and Counseling, Steven Williams; Transamerica Financial Network, Carolyn Davis; Thelma Gibson Health Initiative, Dr. Joyce Price; Dietician Suvetta Green, and the Florida Senior Medicare Patrol. Face-painting using the artistic skills of FIU’s Jessica Rodriguez and Dolly Martinez offered special fun for youngsters, Martinez adding: “We love the kids.”
For more information about future fairs, tel. Dr. Turner at 305-665-1191, St. John’s A.M.E Church, 6461 SW 59 Pl.