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Health Fair on the Block: Back By Popular Demand

Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center helps a community members sign up to learn more information about how to prevent child abuse in Chicago.

Ben Levine

Twice a year the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC) hosts a health fair on 79th Street exposing Auburn Gresham residents and business owners to the many services that are available to them living in Chicago.

Once again 79th Street was lined with health care providers and providing important information to attendees on how they could get low-cost and sometimes free healthcare near them. The health fair is part of the Elev8 initiative at Perspectives Middle Academy (PMA)

Elev8 is designed to ensure that middle school students succeed in school and their communities by providing them with multiple supports, including: comprehensive on-site school-based health services; before and after-school, and summer learning opportunities; and effective mentoring by caring adults.

Members of the University of Chicago's Urban Health Initiative inform residents about where to go to for health services on the South Side of Chicago.

Ben Levine

One of the ways that Elev8 accomplishes this goal is by providing health resources including a state of the art health center operated by Access Community Health

This season’s health fair was sponsored in part by CVS/Caremark and the University of Chicago’s Urban Health Initiative. There were more than 250 residents and business owners attending the health fair and featured over 25 health providers. Some of these providers included: The Loodat Health Reflexology Center, Gift of Hope Chicago, EMB Medical Supply, and many others. 

Two key providers, the Comer Pediatric Mobile Unit and the Christian Community Health Center Van, offered free medical screens for anyone interested. Their services were such a hit that GADC's executive director, Carlos Nelson went for a screening himself. Health vans like these play a very important role in providing health services to areas that do not have access to quality health care.

E’a Williams from Curves in Auburn Gresham leads a Zumba session at the Health Fair on the Block.

Ben Levine

As a bonus to these mobile units, Dr. Dan Johnson from the University of Chicago discussed how to prevent the spread of HIV and other communicable diseases, while Dr. Doriane Miller offered brief and comprehensive tips for a healthier "you". 

Besides the more typical health services, a few other organizations participated and demonstrated how maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be loads of fun. E’a Williams from Curves Auburn Gresham and Tiffany Daniels of Nubian Dance led PMA students and other neighborhood residents in exciting Zumba and Nubian dance routines. Students were thrilled with the opportunity to perform, especially for their parents who attended the health fair as well. 

Two sixth grade PMA classes came out specifically to learn about the resources available to them in their neighborhood. These students had lively discussions with many of the providers and illustrated their school-based knowledge of living a healthy lifestyle.

Jay Khatau of LoDaat shows off his Aryuvedic wares to sixth graders from Perspectives Middle Academy.

Ben Levine

One notable example includes the PMA students who participated in the West-Town Bikes extended-day program. They built their bikes from scratch throughout the school year and got to keep them at the end of the program. 

As the health fair concluded, many of the health providers indicated they would like to support or participate in other GADC events. As such, many signed up to become vendors at the annual Auburn Gresham 79th Street Renaissance Festival on September 10, 2011.

The 79th Street Renaissance Festival highlights the transformative work that the GADC has done to redevelop the Auburn Gresham Community. It began in 2006 to commemorate Auburn Gresham residents and business owners who have participated in the rebirth of this historic community. 

Tyler Sims puts on his helmet and readies his bike provided by West Town Bikes.

Ben Levine

Through the help of local health providers, the support of Elev8 and other similar programs, the Auburn Gresham community is well on its way to becoming a healthier community.

Click here to see more images of this popular Health Fair on the Block in the Auburn Gresham community.

Keywords: Auburn Gresham, CVS Caremark, Elev8, Health Fair on the Block, University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative

Posted in Community Highlights


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