The Park Hill Community Health Fair Block Party took place on Aug 6, 2023 with five distinct areas of community engagement: 1) Medical (staffed by medical doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, behavioral health providers and a dentist. 2) NEWSTART stations staffed by church members (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, Trust. 3) Community resources including free phones, free clothing, free vegetables, job applications, housing, food stamp applications, drug and alcohol resources, prison resources after release, and health and fitness, to name a few. There were a total of 25 resources available. 4) Community vendors ranging from fruit and vegetables to books and herbal teas (30 vendors). 5) Children’s area that contained a library bus giving away free books, tour of a fire truck, petting zoo, face painting, jumpy house, gifts and exciting cosmos characters.
We were able to provide exceptional service and care through one-on-one interaction with our community members. Each church member was challenged to interact personally with at least one person they did not know, and the challenge was met. Feedback from participants included high praise on how friendly and helpful everyone was. It was requested that this be held again in 2024.
One of the highlights of our community block party Health Fair was our medical and dental tent. Through medical screening we were able to detect people with hypertension, prediabetes and high body mass index (obesity). The doctors and nurses provided advice on preventive measures for people prone to chronic diseases, advice on how to control their disease, and were able to identify people who were at high risk for metabolic diseases. Our dentist provided dental exams and checked for oral cancer. The registration included a Health Age questionnaire that assessed current age, health age and potential health age with recommendations on diet, stress, sleeping, spirituality and exercise that was then reinforced as participants went through the NEWSTART exhibit.
Community resources were provided for those struggling with smoking, alcohol and drug addiction. Other offerings were available to help with low-income housing, sources for food insecurity (food stamps and community locations that provide free food), HIV/AIDs, and referrals for those who are experiencing depression. Financial planning services were also made available.
We collected names, phone numbers and addresses of people who were interested in healthful cooking classes, exercise classes and Bible study. We recently offered a healthy cooking class at our church as a result of this event.
It is our intention to continue interaction with our community and offer these services intermittently. The children’s event was very successful and has the potential to create a branch Sabbath school in the community.
We thank the General Conference for the Mission Impact grant that provided the funds for this epic event, our conference president and treasurer for their support and help, and the amazing hard working members of Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church and New Community church. Praises to our Lord and Savior to whom goes all the glory!
Cryston Josiah is interim communication director for the Central States Conference.