Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Health Fair arrives April 20

Hispanic Wellness Coalition to offer free testing and health services in Azle area

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AZLE — Health and wellness are vital cornerstones for residents in any community. The Hispanic Wellness Coalition will bring the “Primaveral” Spring Health Fair to Azle, April 20 for its third year. Last year’s turnout was about 200 people, up from 50 its debut year. Event organizers hope to reach an even larger group this year with a goal of 600 to 800. The event will be held at 404 Main Place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is made possible through the collaboration of HWC and numerous healthcare providers from throughout North Texas. The health fair will offer free services and exams including testing for HIV, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, hearing, BMI, anxiety and depression. Vision, dental and deep tissue massage are three new health screens offered this year. Texas Health Resources staff will offer mammograms at Primaveral and can sign fairgoers up for a future mammogram and well-women exams in July. Additional services, such as COVID-19 vaccines and admission to free future clinics may also be available. These kinds of tests and regular check-ups are vital for catching diseases early and ensuring they do not progress further, event organizers stress.

“Several years back, a son took his dad for a prostate exam,” Anelia Banda, director of the Hispanic Wellness Coalition said. “Unfortunately, the dad's results were elevated. While there, the son decided to test for prostate also. The result? The son's results were higher than the dad's. Bottom line, both were caught in time and treatment ensued successfully.”

This story exemplifies the fact that even if you do not feel sick, some issues may still lay unnoticed. It’s cases like these that highlight the importance of monitoring and managing one’s own wellness. The HWC hopes to make this possible for those who might be uninsured or discouraged by copays.

“An important point to keep in mind is the difference in the cost of a doctor's visit with regular exam when you are healthy versus the cost of that same doctor’s visit when you are ill,” Banda said. “The visit may be equal, however, when ill, the added costs of prescriptions, loss of work time and getting family sick adds its own toll. By encouraging people to take advantage of the free resources available and to catch issues early, the HWC hopes to cut costs that usually end up coming out of the patient’s pocket.”

The HWC is still looking for additional volunteers for its health fair. In the past, volunteers at these events have included medical and nursing students, though all interested in volunteering are welcome to apply through Hispanicwellnesscoalition.org. Health professionals from a variety of organizations as well as businesses across the Dallas-Fort Worth area will sponsor and participate in the event.

Banda said the organization’s mission is “To serve and promote health and wellness in diverse communities through education, advocacy and access,” and added “We (wish to) foster collaboration, trust and sustainability to be the leading health coalition in North Texas.”

The organization is currently registering exhibitors for about $1,540 and is looking for more volunteers. As always, all health services to visitors will be free of charge. The HWC does not ask for confirmation of income, insurance or residency and does not limit who can attend. This year, the group hopes to also see a greater turnout from areas surrounding Azle, such as Springtown.

Along with Azle’s Primaveral, the HWC hosts similar fairs throughout the metroplex from February to October. HWC recently presented its February Health Fair in Grand Prairie at Asia Times Square. Around 400 people participated.

To learn more and keep up with the HWC and its health fairs around the D-FW area, you can follow the coalition on Facebook or visit its website at https://hispanicwellnesscoalition.org/.