MISSION – Visitors to the 18th annual Mission Community Health Fair Sunday will have the chance to receive more than $1,000 worth of health tests and services for free.
The Mission Regional Medical Center expects to administer 500 free master blood panels that check for diabetes, the health of the liver and kidneys, cholesterol levels and more. The hospital also will administer 200 free flu shots as well as bone density screenings, blood pressure checks and body mass index exams.
Other sponsors and exhibitors will perform vision exams, chiropractic adjustments and provide healthy food, said Teresa Saldaña, the business development executive for the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event each year.
“It’s something we believe in educating the local community,” Saldaña said. “A lot of our retirees from up north show up but we also have a lot of the community.”
She pointed out that many who do not have insurance can take advantage of the services. Some chamber members, who are small business owners and cannot afford insurance, are planning on the free flu shot.
“It’s an avenue that we can help in small way,” Saldaña said.
The event will also include entertainment from an Elvis Presley impersonator and country and gospel singers.
The Mission Regional Medical Center will have about 60 employees administering the testing, shots and giving out advice at the fair, said Nick Espinosa, the director of marketing for the hospital.
Along with providing the tests, a nutritionist from the hospital will be on hand to dispense advice on healthy eating and ways to avoid diseases like diabetes, a prevalent problem in the Rio Grande Valley, Espinosa said.
“It’s a good way to kick off the new year if you’re looking to make some health related resolutions for the new year…There’s always something you can pick up that might be of use to you if you’re trying to work on a healthy lifestyle,” Espinosa said.
Gail Burkhardt covers Mission, western Hidalgo County, Starr County and general assignments for The Monitor. She can be reached at email@example.com and (956) 683-4462.