Donaldsonville fair focuses on prevention

O’Neal Robinson flipped turkey burgers on the grill Saturday at a health fair at the Capitol City Family Health Care Center.

Serving healthy, low-fat alternatives to traditional festival food was important to Capital City Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Litt, she said.

The health fair’s goal, she said, was to focus on preventative health care for children and their families.

Volunteers with Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Southern University’s Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic, the Kidney Trust and other doctors and health care providers performed free hearing, dental and medical screenings.

Saturday’s event was the second time the center sponsored Henry Schein’s Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy Communities program in Donaldsonville.

Henry Schein, a worldwide distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies, hosts health fairs around the country, said Jim Mayer, of Henry Schein Medical.

He said volunteers from the company traveled from New York, Alabama and other states to help with the health fair.

Litt said the free health program was for underserved residents who may not know what services are offered in the area.

The CCFHCC opened earlier this year to provide low-cost health services to Donaldsonville area residents, Litt said.

Since its opening, Litt said, the clinic has treated an average of 15 patients a day.

She said the clinic, at 904 Catalpa St., is working with LSU to implement a women’s health program and will provide full-time dental and behavioral health services in January.

She said staffers are working to create partnerships with area health care providers and “spread the word about what we do.”

Helping the clinic spread the word Saturday were 40 Donaldsonville High School Beta Club volunteers.

Michael Favorite, 17, the club’s president, said he and other club members spent the week before the event encouraging teachers, students and family members to take advantage of the free testing services.

“In our club meeting, we talked bout the importance of taking better care of your body,” Favorite said.

The Beta volunteers worked Saturday at various booths, helping attendees move from station to station.

Health care volunteers talked about diseases and risk factors that commonly afflict children, such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, obesity and poor oral health, Litt said.

Donna Gaignard, site manager for the Donaldsonville clinic, said more than 210 adults and 109 children received the free services.

“Now, we’ll follow up with those who had issues and they also got a copy of their results so they can talk to their health care providers,” Litt said.