St. Paul M.B. Church plans health fair Jan. 23

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

It worked well in church, so why not try it out in the community?

Members of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church on North SecondStreet held small health screenings for their members throughout2009. Now they’re turning their attention to the public.

Health professionals and vendors from around the area will be on hand to provide checkups and advice to anyone attending St. Paul’sOperation Winter: Giveaway and Health Fair on Saturday, Jan. 23, beginning at 9 a.m. The event will take place in the church’sCommunity Life Center.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“If anyone has questions they need to ask, people will be here,”said Alexine Jordan, chairman of the center. “It’s really to inform people about how to take care of themselves, just knowing what’s going on with your body so you can get these things checked out so they don’t become a problem.”

Jordan said the church attempted a similar health screening last year that fell short of expectations. Members of the church’s women’s mission have been planning the second round, which they felt would be timed appropriately in January after many people have made New Year’s resolutions to take better care of themselves.

Operation Winter’s other aim is to provide for the needy. While one side of the gymnasium will be reserved for health screenings,the other side will host a giveaway where excess items – new and used, ranging from clothes to household items – will be distributed. Anyone wishing to donate items may bring them to the health fair or call the church at 601-833-8966.

“You have so many things in your closet just sitting there gathering dust, but with the way the economy is, it could be treasure for someone else,” Jordan said. “Everybody has something to give.”

As for the health fair, Mississippi State University ExtensionService Health Agent Latoya Selmon said the event would cover a wide range of services.

Screenings and tests provided include blood pressure, blood glucose, bone density, oral screenings and body mass index.Educational stations will provide information on nutrition,Medicare benefits, mental health, long term care and even seat belt safety.

Some of the agencies present include the Mississippi StateDepartment of Health, St. Andrew’s Mission, Deaconess HomeCare,Southwest Mississippi Mental Health Complex, the local SocialSecurity Administration and the Mississippi Department ofTransportation.

“The more you know, the more you need to know,” said St. Paul member Sue Smith.