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Health Fair Extraordinaire

Health fair provides important health, safety, nutritional, and insurance information to the local community.

Community Contact Information:
Congregation Beth Emeth
Albany, NY
www.bethemethalbany.org


Goals:

  • Provide important health-related information to community members.
  • Engage the congregation and community-at-large in health education.

Overview:
The congregation hosts an annual community-wide Health Fair, involving local physicians, and representatives from local hospitals, nursing homes, health organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and health insurers.

Preparation:
The social action committee contacted doctors in the congregation, local hospitals, and other organizations to request that they volunteer their time and expertise. The committee invited local government officials and other dignitaries to speak about the importance of staying healthy. The rabbi contacted other local clergy to encourage them to advertise the fair to their congregations. The social action committee sent press releases to local media and designed posters which were displayed in shop windows throughout town.

Project Implementation:
Over 40 physicians and health care providers from the community volunteered their time to offer half-hour lectures on a variety of topics and to assist with over 24 types of medical screenings. All local hospitals were involved. In addition, over 60 pharmaceutical companies, nursing homes, health-related organizations and health insurers sponsored information booths with free handouts and samples.

Local newspaper, television, and radio stations provided comprehensive coverage of the event. The mayor and other dignitaries lent their support at press conferences. Free transportation was made available from the underprivileged areas of the city.

The event was extensively promoted and endorsed by local African-American clergy. In the afternoon, the local Baptist church's choir performed.

Results:
More than 3,000 people attended the fair throughout the course of the day. Over 50 volunteers from the community, in addition to the health professionals, helped with food preparations, set-up, and welcoming, in order to make this event a huge success. Because the program has grown much in size since its inception, the congregation is exploring the possibility of opening a satellite program at a local community center, to further the congregation’s goal of educating the community about staying healthy.