Northside Health Fair Plus adding new services

A line forms to tour the mobile Dementia Unit from Community Counseling Services during the 2018 Northside Health Fair. (File photo)
Staff Writer

Northside Christian Church takes its outreach ministry to the community seriously, whether it's with Tuesday Morning Sunday School, the Aaron Johnson Adult Learning Resource Center informative programs, giving youth and their parents information about colleges and universities or the annual Health Fair Plus. This year the Health Fair Plus is continuing to add even more services. Most are free or have a small cost.

The Health Fair Plus is from 9 - 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at the church. There will be Early Bird Specials for those who arrive at 8:45 a.m.

Most of the screenings and services are free. No food or drink prior to the following tests: Blood sugar testing is $5, Lipid Panel is $12, and Prostate Blood Test is $20. The charges pay for the lab fees. All of those involved are volunteers during the health fair. The charge is far below the cost of testing at the doctor's office or at the hospital.

"We are happy to have the Vitalant Blood Mobile on site," Dorothy Ryland said. "There is always a need for blood donations. We already have 20 donors lined up, but we will stay if more people wish to donate."

There will be a station to donate canned goods for the Project Homestead Food Pantry. Jesus admonished his followers to feed the hungry. Donations to the Food Pantry allow us to be obedient and care for one another.

"We want to give to our community," Pastor Orlando Richmond said. "There is so much more to a ministry than just reaching the members of the church. This is for whosoever will, to come. I don't have a limited view of what a ministry is, this isn't some closed social club."

In addition to the normal screenings at a Health Fair, there will be Fresenius Kidney Care of West Point and the Mississippi Kidney Foundation offering a free Kidney Function Screening. Those who want to take advantage of the free screening cannot take food or drink after midnight prior to the test.

"We felt the kidney screenings to be so important," Richmond said. "There is a link to kidney problems and diabetes and high blood pressure. Those problems run rampant in today's society, especially so in the African-American community. We want as many people as possible to take advantage of what the health fair has to offer."

Not only will there be kidney screenings, but there will be a private session for men with an internal medicine doctor.

"There will be a doctor to talk to men about issues specific to them," Richmond said. "They can ask questions upfront about existing problems. Nothing is more important than our health. We only get one body and we need to take care of it."

Richmond said often after asking questions of a doctor, men will leave that area and go to where PSA screenings are taking place. If there is a family history of prostate cancer, a PSA screening is the first line of defense in early detection.

Community Counseling Services is bringing its Dementia Simulator so those wishing to have an idea of what the perception of the world is like for those suffering from dementia.

"I think this is especially informative for those family members and caregivers who have a loved one with dementia," Richmond said. "Getting an idea of what it is like for the sufferer should be eye-opening."

Dorothy Ryland is a volunteer from Northside Christian Church with the Health Fair Plus.

"Health fairs are so important in a community where maybe that is the only time a person may have the opportunity to improve one's health," Ryland said. "This is an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life."

As an added plus, Richmond will be speaking to those interested about wills and estate planning.

"No one wants to think about dying," Richmond said. "But estate planning and executing a will, makes sure your wishes are carried out. Too many close families end up not speaking to each other because they were fighting over someone's stuff. If you want someone to have something after you pass away, you need a will."

There will be water games and face painting for the children and a healthy lunch will be provided after the screenings.

"The lunch will be healthy," Richmond said. "But it will also be very tasty."

For more information, call (662) 275 -2474.