The Belafonte Tacolcy Center and the University of Miami DOCS program are teaming up for their third annual Liberty City Health Fair on Saturday.
Participants get free health screenings and have one on one consultations with University of Miami doctors and medical students.
Isheka Harrison, Communications Manager for the Tacolcy Center, 6161 NW Ninth Ave , said that the partnership with the UM Miller School of Medicine has been a great addition to events the Tacolcy Center offers the community.
“It became a partnership,” said Harrison. “We really appreciate what they do in the community. They transform the grounds into a hospital.”
The partnership began in 2011 when UM DOCS, the Department of Community Service, a student-run non-profit organization, was looking for a site in Liberty City to launch their community health fair in the area. A medical student, who was familiar with the community services the Tacolcy Center provides, suggested that the school hold their event there.
Harrison said that the Tacolcy Center didn’t want the school to host just an informational health fair with health screenings only, so they suggested that add their own flair by incorporating entertainment for the kids ad adults who attend. Harrison said their health fair is different from others because they offer face painting, a bounce house and music for all ages.
Last year, the health fair saw more than 160 people. This year organizers hope to exceed that number. More than 100 volunteer doctors and medical students will be on site to assist patients. Screenings are offered on a first-come/first-served basis, so early arrival is suggested.
Each person in advised to not eat 8 hours before coming to the event to insure an accurate health screening. There will be a number of stations including HIV rapid testing, Mammograms, and pap smears. The fair saw an increase in male attendees over the years, and included more exams for males.
In the these tough economic times, Harrison said the health fair hopes to serve place where people with little or no health insurance can come and get vital screenings for free.
“We think it’s very important for people to take advantage of the Liberty City Health Fair. It’s free, so you can’t beat that,” said Harrison. “If people get these screenings early, it won’t be too late to save their lives.”