Community Health Fair and Back to School Rally

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By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor

The annual Community Health Fair and Back to School Rally is right around the corner! The event aims to help families prepare for the new school year by providing school supplies, medical screenings and overall health information. Donors will distribute back packs, spiral and composition notebooks, color markers, #2 and colored pencils, notebook paper, folders, erasers, glue sticks and more.

“This is the one major event that brings all sectors of the community together to help the children in our county be prepared to start the school year successfully,” said Velde Hardy of Morgan County Family Connection. “This event is vitally important because it has proven to be an effective way to get needed supplies and resource information into the hands of the families who need them most,” Hardy said.

“Unfortunately many families find themselves unable to secure the educational materials necessary for their children.  This can be especially true with parents who have multiple children in the school system, young parents and with the grandparents in our community who are raising their grandchildren,” continued Hardy.

The event is a collaboration between the Morgan Memorial Hospital (MMH) and the Morgan County Family Connection and will be held on the front lawn of MMH on Saturday, July 30 at 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. In previous years, the two organizations held separate events, but decided in 2008 to join forces and create and unified event for parents and students to take advantage of all at once.

“The collaboration strengthened the event and combined resources for added efficiency,” said Megan Morris, Director of Development and Community Relations for MMH.

According to Morris, over 50 community partners will be present offering free health screenings, school supplies and a wide variety of information on local resources.  Other planned activities for the day include a kickoff celebration with the MCHS cheerleaders and band, a reptile show, helicopter landing, demonstration with the UGA rollover vehicle, and a variety of fun activities.

“We want to ensure that all citizens have access to the resources they need to be successful…whether that be at home, at work, or at school,” said Morris, “While this isn’t something we can accomplish on our own, when we work together with our 55 community partners we make great strides in improving outcomes.”

 “Statistics show that Morgan County as a whole ranks fairly well overall in terms of health indicators.  However, our Community Health Needs Assessment showed that there are definitely health disparities between various sectors of our local population.  By offering free screenings at events such as our Community Health Fair and Back to School Rally we aim to bring resources to those individuals who may not otherwise seek the advice or care of a doctor,” said Morris.  “MMH staff are able to offer blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and bone density screenings and we partner with WalMart Vision and Advanced Audiology for hearing and vision tests.  Over the years of providing these screenings we have identified numerous individuals who were suffering from serious health concerns such as high blood pressure and diabetes.  If we can save the life of just one person by raising their awareness of their health, then all of our efforts have been worth it!”

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of the Community Health Fair and Back to School Rally this coming Saturday, July 30 at 9 a.m. Morgan Memorial Hospital is located at 1077 South Main Street in Madison.

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