AARP Colorado co-sponsored the first annual Centro San Juan Diego Health Fair with the Centro and The Denver Arch-Diocese Social Center for the Hispanic community, among others on Sunday at the church in the Five Points neighborhood.
More than 200 people from low-income neighborhoods – mainly highly-Latino-populated areas – attended the morning event, receiving a battery of free health screenings administered by volunteer professionals from the Urology Center and Denver Health Medical Center.
The screenings included prostrate, cholesterol, blood pressure, mental health, diabetes, body mass index, and eye and foot exams. The agencies and health professionals staffing the fair set-up administrative procedures to ensure the confidentiality and necessary referrals and follow through to the lab exams were completed.
“The event was very successful,” said Roberto Rey, AARP Colorado’s multicultural director. “More than 60 people were waiting in line before the doors opened at 8 a.m.”
Free flu and pneumonia vaccines also were provided to all participants. Five AARP El Comite volunteers worked at the event, in addition to the Colorado AARP office’s contribution of $3,000 to the health fair’s budget. Two El Comite volunteers also donated 300 water bottles and others solicited food donations from local grocers for the health fair participants and volunteers.
The Health Fair was promoted through an AARP mailing to members and announcements at all Denver Archdiocese Spanish language masses. The Denver Mexican Consulate also helped spread the word and contributed volunteers to help with the fair. Supplementing the free screenings, more than 10 agencies featured booths to distribute health information, including AARP, the Alzheimer Association, the National Kidney Foundation, Office of Health Disparities, St. Anthony’s Hospital Health Passport program, Clinica Tepeyac and Wal-Mart Eye Clinics.
The strong turnout for the event helped underline the continuing gap in medical coverage experienced in many low income neighborhoods, Rey said.
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