Parkwood Elementary-1

LifeSpring Health Systems will present a community health fair Saturday at Parkwood Elementary in Clarksville.

CLARKSVILLE — A health fair this Saturday is focused on breaking down barriers for the local Hispanic community.

LifeSpring Health Systems will present its annual Community Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Parkwood Elementary School at 748 Spicewood Dr. in Clarksville. The free event is open to the public.

The community health fair will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, and it includes a mixture of fun activities, health/wellness booths, health screenings and vaccinations.

Malinda Mackenzie, community outreach coordinator for LifeSpring, said that since the health fair was canceled last year because of the pandemic, the theme this year is “celebration” as they offer health resources for an underserved community.

The event will take place primarily outdoors. Attendees can enjoy tacos from a food truck and will receive $3 “taco bucks” to contribute toward their lunch. The fair will also feature free shaved ice, free haircuts and live music.

“We wanted to make it a celebration so it’s not a burden to come,” Mackenzie said. “They can dance, but more than anything they can get resources.”

Mackenzie said the goal is for attendees to stay for a while at the fair, so the fair includes a number of activities and prizes to encourage people to stick around.

Every 15 to 20 minutes, the fair will offer door prizes, and a raffle will include 15 bicycles with helmets for children. A “celebration checklist” will allow them to enter for a grand prize while visiting various stations at the fair.

“We don’t want them just standing around — we want them to actually start digging in,” she said.

The Clark County Health Department will offer free vaccinations for both COVID-19 and the flu at the fair. Mackenzie said both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines and incentives will be available to encourage attendees to have conversations about the vaccines.

The fair is aimed at helping those who have questions about the vaccine, Mackenzie said. This includes individuals who may have already received their first COVID-19 vaccination but didn’t return for their second shot.

“It’s for them to feel comfortable and not feel like they have to take it, but they want to take it,” Mackenzie said.

Other organizations involved in the fair include Clark Memorial Health, Community Action of Southern Indiana, Kanti Wellness Center, Ireland Home Based Services, Choices Life Resource Center, Colon Cancer Prevention Project and Clark County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition.

More than 20 translators will be available at the fair to help Spanish-speaking attendees.

The fair will also include five Spanish-speaking “navigators” to help attendees explore health insurance options, Mackenzie said. This is new to the fair, and it is a major push for LifeSpring this year as they have learned about the barriers to insurance access for the Hispanic community.

“A lot of times language is a big barrier, and they don’t know who to talk to or where to find out about health insurance,” she said. “Sometimes they’re not here legally and they are afraid they will get into trouble. We don’t care about their status — we just want to make sure they are insured.”

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