Over 300 people took advantage of free health resources offered at the Beverly Hospital health fair held last weekend in Montebello, including many people who would otherwise not have access to health care services.
The event offered lectures, health screenings, flu shots and information booths from different departments at the hospital as well as outside agencies.
Especially popular were the free flu vaccinations, with the 200 available doses being administered within two hours of the fair’s opening.
Alicia Zavala, 62, attended the fair in hopes of getting one of the free flu shots, but was out of luck. She, and others like her, were however able to take advantage of other free services, such as blood pressure check ups done by a Beverly Hospital nurse.
Over 60 people also had their feet checked at a diabetic foot screening station and received information from RN Rocky Estrada on how to take care of their feet.
“Most people, if they don’t have health insurance, they aren’t getting professional help,” Estrada said. “They’re listening to what their friends and family tell them and it may not be the right thing” to do when it comes to caring foot problems that can be more complicated to handle when the patient has diabetes.
The hospital also offered blood screenings at a nominal cost, pulmonary screenings, CPR demonstrations and a glucose screening.
Rene Barraza, American Heart Association community educator, demonstrated to both adults and children how to perform hands-only CPR, a resource she says residents may not normally be exposed to.
“When you think of CPR you imagine you have to sign up, you have to pay for it and spend all day, and that’s really discouraging for people,” she said. “[Attendees] were able to leave today knowing how to do something.”
Lectures on what to expect during a heart attack and the complications of diabetes were also held. Each session included a question and answer segment with doctors from the hospital.
Montebello residents, like Sara Fierro, 78, were also able to get information from the a variety of participating organizations, such as the East Los Angeles Woman’s Center, The Los Angeles County Department of Health and various fitness groups.
“The fair is a wonderful thing for the city of Montebello,” Fierro told EGP. “Its very helpful for everyone, no matter what needs they have.”
Montebello resident Bernice Peralta told EGP she liked the different booths and screenings at the health fair because it helped people who might otherwise find it hard to see a doctor.
“They should hold these [health fairs] more often,” Peralta said. “They provide great information for people who don’t have health insurance, low-income especially.”