Come downtown: ‘Be Well!’ Community Health Fair Saturday

March 11, 2009
Santa Paula News

“Be Well!” is the theme of the 2nd Annual Community Health Fair to be held Saturday in downtown Santa Paula, where a variety of health screenings and information about healthcare programs will be offered free to the public.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula Times“Be Well!” is the theme of the 2nd Annual Community Health Fair to be held Saturday in downtown Santa Paula, where a variety of health screenings and information about healthcare programs will be offered free to the public. The fair, sponsored by the Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association (SPDTMA) and Santa Paula Hospital, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 939 E. Main St., and there is parking at the rear of the building.SPDTMA President Debbie Johnson said the Ventura County Health Care Agency initially wanted to stage a health fair for downtown merchants and their employees. “But the first fair,” held last year at the Community Center, “was so successful,” Johnson said the SPDTMA urged the event be all community inclusive.“Not only will the entire community have the opportunity to have free, simple, but vitally important health screenings, but it will also give them a chance to visit our merchants downtown,” where, noted Johnson, “you can shop in our historic atmosphere and even enjoy a delicious meal” at various area restaurants. Not only will visitors meet their downtown merchants, but they will also have an opportunity to enter raffles to win prizes.The Community Health Fair will feature Amani Hishmeh from The Medicine Shoppe offering screenings for diabetes, cholesterol and liver function; offer additional screenings for glucose, blood pressure, BMI, hemoglobin, and more; and meet Dr. Reyes and receive a free dental exam. Dr. Reyes will also have D. G. DeBear and Toothy the Tooth on hand to delight the kids, and everyone will be able to spin his Wheel of Prizes to win free teeth whiteners and other prizes.Women over 40 will be encouraged to learn how they can receive a screening mammogram at low or not cost - call 677-5202 for more information! Fair visitors will also learn about the wide array of services available at Santa Paula Hospital, the river valley’s own Hospital on the Hill operated by the Ventura County Health Care Agency. The event will also feature information about the variety of county health care programs, ranging from Self-Pay Discounts to WIC to ACE to Child Health and Disability Prevention that provides “Well Child” checkups.
“Our goal for the fair is providing screening most people do not get,” due to a lack of health insurance, according to Yolanda Quevedo Mordue, Insurance Services administrator of Ventura County HCA, “as well as to provide them with information about the many clinics, physicians and services available to them in the Santa Clara River Valley, as well as Santa Paula Hospital.” Information will also be available on the Healthy Families and Family (PACT) Planning, Access, Care and Treatment program for family planning.ACE for Adults helps people 19 to 64 years old who have no health insurance get needed medical care to live healthier lives and reduce medical costs, benefiting everyone in Ventura County. ACE is not health insurance or an entitlement. It’s made possible by a $10 million grant from the California Department of Health Services to Ventura County.Once enrolled you can get health care at any facility operated by the Ventura County Health Care Agency, including: Ventura County Medical Center, Santa Paula Hospital, VCMC Outpatient Clinics, Behavioral Health Clinics and Public Health Clinics. You qualify for the program if all of the following apply: you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident that lives or works in Ventura County, are not enrolled in Medi-Cal, AIM or any type of insurance program, and your income does not exceed 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.Mordue noted numerous vendors would also be attending the health fair, offering not only information on other services and programs, but adding more for people to enjoy at the event.“We want everyone to come down to downtown,” said Johnson. “The last health fair was extremely well-attended, and downtown merchants wanted to ensure that this wonderfully health opportunity for everyone - insured or not - be more centrally located.”

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