Community Focus: Thirty years of helping community health
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The Integris Hispanic Health Fair has shown unbelievable growth over the years, and on Saturday it celebrated its 30th anniversary of free health screenings to thousands of Oklahomans.
The Integris Hispanic Health Fair started as a small screening fair held at a hospital, to the large scale event it is now, hosting more than one thousand Oklahomans.
“We don't only bring the screenings. We care for these people after the screenings. If the people have some abnormal results we contact them, we follow up with them, and we refer them to the physicians or the health care providers that can help them, “says Carmen Romo, Integris Hispanic Initiative director.
Romo and her team prepare for about a full year for each fair now. Mike Chavez says he is inspired to keep people informed about their health in their language.
“We started the Hispanic health fair because of the barrier, the language barrier that we saw throughout the Hispanic community. Where there was a lot of services, a lot of resources but that information was not being transmitted in their own language, “says Mike Chavez, Integris Community Benefit Specialist.
The work is not over because the group now waits for all of those screenings to be processed, and then they will follow up with all the patients. Leticia Orosco says the hard work is its own reward.
“It is just satisfaction, you know that work that we have been doing all year is finally, you know, giving results, “says Orosco, Integris Community Educator
Then, the work beings for next year.
Despite the name, the annual Integris Hispanic Health Fair welcomes everyone in the community with those free screenings every year, there is just the option available for Spanish interpreters. Cancers screenings are also free but are only done by appointment, and those fill up quickly every year.