NorthShore Health Centers' Lake Station location celebrated National Health Center Week with a Health & Fun Fair in their backyard. On August 9th, they invited the community over for some table games, pony rides, and information about the health services available to them through NorthShore.
“We're more than just a doctor's office,” said Tricia Hall, the Marketing Manager for NorthShore. “We take the time to have extra steps in the community’s health care, we always try to take people’s [care] to the next step. Having this event is one of them. We want to show that NorthShore cares about the community.”
NorthShore rented an inflatable obstacle course to attract families to their event. They hired a petting zoo that could give them a close up view of animals they love, along with pony rides that they may never have tried before. Steaming pizza and frozen snow cones were available to refresh visitors.
Olga Velazquez, a Site Director from the Merrillville NorthShore location, came out to show her support for a clinic close to her heart. She was Mayor of Portage, a town that often uses the Lake Station branch. To her, they are all one NorthShore.
“Everybody deserves quality healthcare regardless of ability to pay, that’s our motto,” she said. “Having [this event] be free furthers that mission because no one should miss out on National Health Center Week. No one should miss out on resources.”
Under her sun-shaded tent was a ring of booths offering information on different organizations in the community. They also had more details about the programs NorthShore itself offers.
Three ladies at the prenatal table shared all about the importance of breastfeeding for the first six months of a child's life. They also can set up appointments for early childhood doctor’s visits. They can even rave about the one-on-one nurse program they have for expecting mothers: a nurse is assigned to each patient, to walk them through their entire pregnancy. This includes home visits.
Family Care Coordinator Jackie Hogan said, “We can address any issues on a personal level that they might not be comfortable telling a doctor. We can address issues that might not be medical. Those things can stop a person from having a healthy pregnancy.”
Another aspect of health that often gets overlooked is dental health.
“Oral health is super important for the entire body,” said Dental Hygienist Christina McDermott. “A lot of people don’t realize that. It’s important to establish good routines and be a good role model for your children.”
Problems with your gums can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and even head or neck cancer. They recommend getting check ups twice a year. Even children who are still using their baby teeth should see a dentist regularly, since the health of their first set determines the health of their adult set.
“As a twig is bent so grows the tree,” is the same belief held by Chiropractor Dr. Tom Redfield. His team was giving out free scoliosis screenings at the National Health Clinic Week celebration.
Mother Crystal Lewis appreciated all the different screenings she could get for her children. “I came out for the kids to get their vision and dental,” she said. “[NorthShore] has excellent care. It’s really nice for the kids and the families.”
They got more screenings and more fun than Lewis expected. Each booth had a game to play, a prize to win, and a different branch of health resources to take advantage of.
NorthShore advocates and future patients who could not make it to Tuesday’s festival were invited to a second day, Thursday, of celebrations at the Scottsdale location.
For more information on Northshore Health Centers' services, click here.