Promotoras and Erwin Mitchell Community Health Fair

Glance around this October and you’re bound to notice beautiful red, gold, and orange foliage just about everywhere you look.

But you should also notice a fair amount of pink.

Pink is the color that reminds us that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and we at the Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership will be embracing that color as we focus on ways in which we can raise awareness about this devastating disease while encouraging women to be diligent about their annual screenings.

One way we’ve found that we can raise awareness about the disease is through our Promotoras de Salud program, particularly this month during the Erwin Mitchell Community Health Fair, which will take place this year on Saturday, October 18, from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm at the Mack Gaston Community Center.

For those who are unfamiliar with our Promatoras de Salud program, the best way to describe it is as a group of community health workers who bridge the gap between underserved populations and the health and social service systems. 

Promotoras are individuals who are culturally, linguistically, and socio-linguistically representative of the communities they serve. Their “mission” is to serve as leaders within their communities to whom others can turn to for advice and support, particularly when it comes to matters of health issues.

These individuals receive training on the specific health issues being addressed, and reach out to their community members through “on the ground” contacts with neighbors, friends, and their families, distributing educational materials and contact information to fellow community residents.

During the Erwin Mitchell Community Health Fair, Promotoras and others will be on hand to help those within our community and the region at large gather potentially life-saving information on breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes and health issues.

This Health Fair is being sponsored by the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition and is free and open to the public.

We expect that almost a thousand individuals will participate this year. Already, around 44 vendors plan to be on hand to provide community members access to all sorts of healthcare educational materials and access to a wide array of community resources.

Attendees can take advantage of other types of screenings at the Health Fair in addition to the breast cancer screenings. In years past, many attendees have been diagnosed with serious illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol as a result of their attendance, while others have learned about the risk factors for breast, cervical, prostate, and other cancers.

And while no one wants to be diagnosed with a serious illness, we all know that becoming aware of one’s potential health risks, identifying diseases in their early stages, and finding ways to prevent and/or treat illnesses that arise are key to achieving good health in the long run, often resulting in long-term survivals.

Vendors and supporting businesses who will be on hand include hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and community agencies, most of which contribute to this event each year.

We are, of course, hopeful that this Health Fair will result in higher-than-normal screenings for all types of diseases, particularly breast cancer, that affect the various populations of Northwest Georgia, and we encourage everyone to join us that day.

Tell your friends and neighbors about this great opportunity to learn more about their health.  

In Good Health,

Greg Dent