Nearly 300 people from different parts of the Washington, DC metro region received direct services and other life-saving public health information at the 2016 Community Health and Environment Fair held Saturday, May 14 at the Riverdale Elementary School in Prince George’s County, MD.
The health fair was organized by the non-profit Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. (GHEP), in collaboration with a coalition of 34 notable government and non-governmental organizations and health care and social services professionals drawn from Maryland, DC, and Virginia, including Georgetown University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, Doctor’s Community Hospital, and several agencies of the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County. The health fair comprised of a general workshop session, care delivery, and health information and awareness exhibitions by participating agencies.
GHEP Executive Director, Romuladus E. Azuine, DrPH, MPH, RN, said that the theme of the health fair and workshops was: “Health and Environment: Connections for Healthy Lives, Healthy Communities” was important in highlighting the intricate connection between human health and the environment which is the foundation for improving individual and community health and wellness.
“We do not have to wait for diseases and calamities such as the Zika Virus to jolt us into understanding the importance of health and environmental education and information empowerment for our people and communities. That is why we are holding this health fair today which has brought for-profit and non-profit partners together for a common cause,” Dr. Azuine said.
According to Dr. Azuine, “once we understand the triangle of health, environment and diseases, we will fully understand that the health of each and every one of us is related to each other and that we must build our health together as healthy people and healthy communities.”
In his welcome remarks, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Riverdale Park, Dr. Alan Thompson, praised GHEP for its commitment to the community and for bringing enormous resources to the city which will lead to improvement in not only health of the individuals, but also health of the city.
Special Guest at the event and Council Member Deni Taveras representing District 2 at Prince George’s County Council decried the lack of mental health professionals serving minorities who are at higher risk of suffering mental health problems. She said that it was time for individuals and communities to come together and shatter the stereotypes and break stigma around mental health treatment and help-seeking for mental health in our minority communities.
Community leaders at the event include MD State Delegate Alonzo T. Washington representing District 22, PG County; Mr. Martin Ezemma, Director of International Business at PG County Economic Development Corporation; Mr. James Morrow of the PG County Community Emergency Response Team; Dr. Clifford Thomas, a community activist; Lt. CDR Lawrence Momodu of the US Public Health Service; Earl Harley, MD, FAAP from Georgetown University Hospital and Millicent Collins, MD, FAAP, a Pediatrician from the Howard University Hospital..
Attendees at the health fair received several health care services including screening for high blood pressure, blood sugar, eye examination, ear, nose, and throat examinations, well-child visits, immunization information, and several health promotion information and sources of resources for health and social services.
Guest Speaker and Lead Workshop presenter, Lt. CDR Dr. Lawrence Momodu underscored the importance of physical and mental health prevention for individuals and the entire family. Dr. Momodu who is a Pharmacist and Nurse called on the community to get above board and learn to protect themselves from preventable health diseases.
The highpoint of the event was an outdoor physical activity, anti-bullying, and violence prevention workshop and demonstration facilitated by Dr. Clifford Thomas of the We Lead By Example, Inc./Tae Kwon Do Ramblers Self-Defense Systems based in Bladensburg, MD. Dr. Thomas led the children and members of the community in outdoor exercise that highlighted both physical activity, physical fitness and development of anti-bullying strategies for the entire family.