A local nurse has joined together with several organizations in to bring some much-needed services to the community. This is being done in the form of a Compassion Health Fair that will take place at on Sept. 29, 2012. The nurse behind this movement is Kim Hanks and, after first getting guidance from state representatives Bruce Williamson and Tom Kirby, she has managed to garner the support of many community partners.
“I got in touch with our county commissioners, and once they agreed to partner with me, and they offered Meridian Park as a venue, the whole thing began to snowball. With and EMS as active sponsors, and , Eastside Medical, Emory University, Church at the Grove, and the joining in, I knew we were in great shape to really pull together someone wonderful,” Hanks said. “We now have over 40 booths of doctors, nurses, counselors, and therapists, offering free healthcare to our Walton residents over 55 years of age.”
Hanks said the purpose of the Compassion Health Fair is “to create an opportunity for the community to care for its own residents, through free healthcare treatments, screenings, and education, with the ultimate goal of creating awareness of our local, county, and state healthcare resources.”
Hanks and those involved hope that the fair will serve to increase health awareness through the screenings, activities, demonstrations and education and give attendees a better idea of their local, state and national health resources. It is also hoped that it will set people on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
Hanks said she first got the idea for this health fair earlier on in the year while still at nursing school. It during a trip to the state Capital and meeting with Kirby and Williamson that the idea began to take shape.
“I really began feeling compelled to become more proactive about helping my neighbors, and since healthcare is what I know and am passionate about, that's the direction I went,” Hanks said, adding that although the emphasis was on health, the event was going to have a fun, fair type atmosphere.
“We also have a food pantry, and a clothes closet with free items for our participants. And, thanks to Skips Chicago Hot Dogs, and other private donations, we have free food for all volunteers and, participants,” Hanks said. “Along with all this, the day will have a fun, fair-like feel because Jerry Coursey and F.O.S. (Fruit of the Spirit) will be playing southern gospel music, live, all day. We, also, are going to have drawings for some really awesome door prizes, every half hour. The idea is to draw people there with the promise of free screenings, music, food, and prizes, with the ultimate goal of introducing them to the wealth of healthcare resources we have in Walton County. We have neighbors who are sick and hurting, and they're suffering alone, and in silence, when there are so many resources out there to help. People simply don't know what's available to them. So, we have organizations like Georgia Cares, Walton Wellness, NE GA Area Agency on Aging, Lions Clubs, and so many more, coming to meet the participants and let them know where they can find help.”
Hanks said there will also be nurses on hand who will be sitting down with people, discussing their health histories and issues, and talking to them about their risks and conditions, then leading them to the proper resource to follow up.
- Walton County residents who are 55 years or older
- Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Meridian Park, 105 Generation Blvd, Loganville, GA 30052