The NorthShore Health Centers supports its patients in a way that stretches beyond the doctor's office. For the last five years, they have provided a time and a place for the community to join together and educate themselves about the plentiful options that are available regarding their health at the NorthShore Patient Appreciation Health & Fun Fair.
Subsequently, this upcoming week is National Health Center Week, where health centers reach out to all walks of life and celebrate the success of high quality, cost-effective, and accessible healthcare around the world.
Tricia Hall, the Director of Marketing and Patient Relations for NorthShore Health Centers, spoke about this year's focus.
“The theme is celebrating American healthcare heroes, so we went with a superhero theme,” Hall said. “We’re honoring our doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, all of our providers—our healthcare heroes. We also like to thank our patients as well; they are superheroes too.”
NorthShore workers were sporting custom superhero shirts that included their name and the word “Super” ahead of it. Wonder Woman also made a special appearance, strolling around taking pictures with families and children.
The Game Truck made its way back for a second year, alongside bouncy houses, face painting, and affordable or free vendors such as Kona Ice and Dominos.
Gervay Dickerson, Lead Event Coordinator and Lead Outreach Coordinator for NorthShore Health Centers, spoke about the gravity of its outreach saying.
“It’s important for the community to know that there is a health center that embodies everything. We understand with families that it’s not all just medical. We provide all the services—you could say a one-stop shop for medical care!” Dickerson laughed. “We want to celebrate the community, our families, and at the same time offer them free blood pressures, education on diabetes, classes, and opportunities to make appointments.”
Gladys Majka, a health fair veteran, expressed why she continues to make these events a part of her life saying.
“I go to all of the health fairs because they are free opportunities with a good wealth of information,” Majka said. “There's a lot of people out there that don't have health insurance. But here, they have a table where you can make an appointment for that.”
The fair could not exist without its various partners, attractions, and vendors, such as The Welcome Network, Anthem Healthcare, and Centers for Pain Control, to name a few. The event provides a plethora of opportunities for attendees, such as planning healthcare appointments on the spot and even a chiropractor on call to evaluate the alignment of visitors backs.
Micaya Rodgers, a first-time health fair attendee, said, “I’m really enjoying it. I just found something out about my back and how I need to get it checked out.”
The Welcome Network, a nonprofit organization that provides resources and services to internationally-born residents of Northwest Indiana and South Chicago, partnered with the NorthShore Health Fair to be one of their local sponsors. Mimi Villa, Volunteer Coordinator for The Welcome Network, spoke about the importance of events such as NorthShore’s.
“Sometimes people, because they are uninformed, don’t seek out additional services that they could benefit from. Healthcare is a huge area, where many people suffer illnesses, and don’t know where to turn,” Villa said. “They may not be good at researching, or just fearful of the unknown. So, being able to come to an event that offers an eclectic variety of resources for any clinic community is crucial.”
Missed out on NorthShore’s Patient Appreciation Health & Fun Fair today in Lake Station? Don’t worry, because there is another opportunity on Thursday, August 9th, 11am-2pm, at their Portage location!
For any additional information, visit www.northshorehealth.org.