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GADC's Spring Health Fair on the Block a Heartwarming Success

On May 21st, the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC), held it's Spring 2015 Health Fair on the Block on 79th Street. The day started with cool winds, but the sun came out early, causing the block between Racine and May to buste with lots of activity and excitement!

There were twenty-nine organizations who set up tables to talk about important health issues, lifestyle and many variety of health-related resources available to community members.

"This health fair is a necessity for our residents and all those in need of vital information to better care for themselves. Thanks to our partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Atlantic Philanthropies' Elev8 initiative we were able to spend a beautiful day to inform our residents (two generation families), of affordable and qualitative health care services, programs and organizations."

Over the course of the afternoon, several hundred people stopped through, and engaged with the participating organizations.The Health Fair attracted women and men, senior citizens and students, and parents and folks who were just a little curious about what was happening on the block!

These attendees walked up and down both sides of the block, stopping at tables belonging to all variety of organizations. Learning, sharing and collecting fun tokens as well as information. The health was pretty comprehensive, with something for everyone in attendance.

The University of Illinois Hopsital & Health Sciences Center's Mile Square Health Center had two tables to inform attendees about their available services at the community neighborhood clinic at Perspectives-Calumet Middle School, which they took over to run last December.

The UIC National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health shared information about diabetes, cancer prevention, breast-feeding, adolescent female health, calcium intake, health career mentoring, and college coaching.

The Chicago Department of Public Health talked about mental health, Medicaid eligibility, prenatal and pediatric care, smoking cessation, Hepatitis C, and more.

CVS Health a major sponsor of the bi-annual Health Fair on the Block,  provided free product samples, backpacks and Minute Clinic water bottles with information on their walk-in expanding health service offerings.

CountyCare was out on the block for the "Children" and helped families determine their eligibility for childcare assistance programs.

The Courage to Love project, one of GADC's partner programs continued their research project from last years health and 79th Street Reniassance Festival. Many residents were happy to see the input they gave last year, answering "Where do you see love in the community?" being displayed and used as part of the infant mortality impact data, for work being done in the community. "More black babies are born too early or die within their first year of life than white babies...a lot more." Auburn Gresham has one of the highest rates in the City of Chicago. Because of this statistic, the team spent more time gathering information and engaging the community through the use of capturing community input through the use of hands.

The Courage to Love project aims to help babies thrive through the power of LOVE.

Another GADC multi-year program CommunityRX, in a partnership with the University of Chicago's Southside Health and Vitalies study (SSHVS),  really peaked residents interest. Two local Community Health Information Specialists connected people to a website and hotline for locating healthy community "assets," resources and information based on the zip code, in which they live. GADC was also recruiting for MAPSCorps, the summer STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) intern program, that hires teams of teens to walk communities collecting asset information using a cell phone and a homegrown App.The data is ultimately uploaded to a University of Chicago database and presented on a website for use to create a listing of healthy assets based on service, problem or place, see healtherx. Doctors offices participating in the program can also provide patients with this same community asset prescroption, as part of their office visit.

Additionally, a new local business, Rhythms Within U Dance and Fitness, founder Cherreta Hill, kept the music and exercise demonstrations going, as folks walked through the health fair.

We welcomed and thank all of GADC health health parnters, who always make it out to support the neighborhood!

Toake a look at the the pictures from the day click on the following link: GADC Health Fair on the Block Photos. It highlights the informative, fun and healthy day out on the block!

Having healthy finances is also a part of overall well being of families and communities. Marquette Bank is working hard to keep money in your pocket, with their incentives. They all discussed products around their programs to encourage teens to earn, save and get fun reward gift cards along the way.

Community health fairs like this are essential to Auburn-Gresham. They are opportunities for individuals to discover the organizations and resources that exist in and near their neighborhood, and for those organizations to develop the bonds with one another that are necessary to

create the kind of robust referral network among collaborating health and social service providers that service the GADC's service area.

Becuase the Health Fair on the Block is so popular, the GADC makes this a bi-annual event holding one also in early fall, so stay tuned!

To tell us your thoughts, find out how you can participate in our next event, or to ask any questions, please contact Anya Cawthon, Health Coordinator at or Tenisha Jones, Director of Education.(,

Keywords: health care, Health Fair on the Block, Healthy Babies, Healthy Food

Posted in Education, Auburn Gresham in the News, Community Highlights


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