Groups pool resources for neighborhood health-care fair

Monday, October 24, 2005

Free health screenings and a meal brought neighbors together Sunday afternoon in downtown Cape Girardeau.

A neighborhood health fair was held by Christ Episcopal Church, 101 N. Fountain St., in conjunction with Neighborhood Connections and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The fair offered free screenings for blood pressure, depression, anxiety and other health issues.

"We wanted to educate the neighborhood on various health issues," said Heather Dickerson, registered nurse and Christ Episcopal Church member. "We have a lot of health professionals that go to church here, and we just thought it would be good to provide this kind of information."

Dickerson said the turnout for the health fair was good and hopes the church can have the event again in the near future.

Roberta Beach, Saint Francis Medical Center registered nurse, was providing information about organ donation through the Mid-America Transplant organization.

"We're getting people signed up to be organ donors," she said while holding up a handful of registration cards. "It's very important to get registered to be an organ donor. If something happens suddenly to a person and if they are registered, it relieves the family of the burden to make that decision to donate."

Cape Girardeau resident Heather Blanton registered to be an organ donor at the health fair. She also received car seat safety information for her four-month-old son, Lennon.

"I got some information for my mom on where she can get free mammogram screenings," Blanton said. "This event was very helpful for people who wouldn't normally seek the information out."

An Alcoholics Anonymous booth provided a screening to determine if someone is an alcoholic as well as various meeting spots for anyone dealing with alcoholism.

"This was a very helpful, important event," said Ted Perrin, chairman for Alcoholic Anonymous groups in Cape Girardeau. "We're providing information for those who have concerns for their family members or themselves."

jfreeze@semissourian.com

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