Dozens take advantage of free health screenings in Little Havana

 

By GINA CHERELUS

Delois Gray went to a free health fair Saturday morning to check her blood pressure because she suffers from hypertension. But she left with a lot more.

“Knowledge. That is what I am getting here,” said Gray, 54. “I’ve worked at health clinics since I was 19 but I’ve never seen a real lung before. It’s pretty cool.”

Gray was among the dozens of people who attended the free Community Health Fair at Victoria Nursing and Rehabilitation Center hosted by the Miami Rescue Mission’s clinic on Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to noon, those who showed up received glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and HIV screenings. They were also given information on dental and eye care, smoking risks and a complimentary back rub from Miami Dade College massage therapy students.

“The Miami Rescue Mission Clinic started in 2009 to ensure equality and healthcare for our community, specifically for our clients who may be homeless,’’ said Jesus Inguanzo, the clinic manager for Miami Rescue Mission. “Everything is free because many of our clients don’t have insurance.”

Miami Dade College Medical Campus students volunteered at the fair, performing different screenings and offering advice to people who may not have been able to receive medical attention.

“Our nursing students do more than 14,000 hours of community service each year. We do this so that our students can be of service to the community,” said Amy Pettigrew, the dean of Miami Dade College School of Nursing.

The fair was co-sponsored by the Laboratorio Buena Salud, Finlay Clinical Laboratory, Esman Foundation, Nursing Alliance Home Care and the Miami Dade College Medical Campus.

Christian Rodriguez, 23, a massage therapy student at Miami Dade College said it was gratifying to be able to help people in need.

“It’s amazing,” Rodriguez said. “I actually like helping people and making them feel better if they feel stressed.”

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