RECAP: 2018 Community Health Fair
For under and uninsured families, Incarnation’s annual health fair makes it possible for students to participate in healthy extracurricular activities, go to college with required vaccines, and receive information – in English and Spanish – on healthy eating and lifestyle changes that manage risk for and sometimes the presence of heart disease and type-two diabetes.
A young boy who came to the health fair this year received six vaccines – not an uncommon occurrence according to The Texas Care Van, our annual vaccine provider. Immunizations are critical to the community for long-term health and wellness. No-cost access to vaccinations for uninsured and medically underserved families eliminates the barriers that commonly prevent children from receiving on-time, age-appropriate immunizations in traditional healthcare settings.
Similarly, many students who come to the health fair for sports physicals have never seen a physician. We’ve also recognized families that regularly take advantage of this annual opportunity for preventative care. More than once our volunteer doctors have identified undiagnosed medical issues and made referrals to clinics, helping families avoid significant problems down the road.
Half of the 160 volunteers at the health fair are skilled professionals from our parish as well as UT Southwestern Medical, Dallas County Medical Society Alliance, Texas A&M Dental School, North Dallas Shared Ministries, and Texas Care Van. The network of these providers has served thousands of children since the inception of the health fair nine years ago.
This year alone, doctors provided 90 sports physicals, dentists screened 137 patients, and nurses administered 201 vaccinations to 90 children under the age of 18. Additionally, we gave away 51 bikes and 40 bike helmets as well as 150 backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies. In all, nearly 500 people experienced Incarnation’s sincerity for service and God’s blessing of your financial gifts that significantly impact in the lives of our North Texas neighbors.