This past Saturday, the congregation of Greenshade African Methodist Episcopal Church joined the “Resurrecting a Healthier You” initiative – a Faith Health Delivery initiative, funded by the American Heart Association.
During this event, a number of health services were available to members of the Greenshade community and Gadsden County as a whole.
There were opportunities for guests to receive COVID-19 vaccines, blood pressure/sugar screenings, diabetes testing, and mammogram information – all services that were provided free of charge.
Door prizes were also given out every 15 minutes for the first hour, giving guests a chance to win a variety of items, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, t-shirts, water bottles, and more.
The Resurrecting a Healthier You initiative uses a mobile health van along with a variety of health organizations to provide participants with an extensive one-stop shop health clinic.
Members of the community were very pleased with the services and grateful for the event.
65-year-old John Williams spoke about his health-related problems and how the mobile health van came in handy for him.
“I never seen or at least heard of one of these events nearby, I usually would have to get one of my family members or someone from the community to take me to my doctor appointments,” said Williams. “With the doctor van being right here at the Greenshade AME church, it’s really convenient due to me not having to get a ride all the way to Tallahassee for some of these same services.”
Williams and other members of the community usually would have to drive to one of the neighboring cities to receive some of these treatments provided.
Due to the Mobile Health Van being located at the Greenshade AME Church, members are looking forward to seeing the van come back again in the future with more valuable services that help the community and Church.
Reverend Shirlean Thomas, the pastor at Greenshade AME Church, spoke about the importance of this event, being the first in Greenshade, and the potential impact that it can have.
“This is the first event that we have hosted here at Greenshade, and I really hope it’s not the last,” said Thomas. “I mean this benefit is great and the services being brought to the community is extremely helpful. Many people here do have diabetes and heart related problems, that could be improved if there was more accessibility to the services provided here at the event.”
The Big Bend Area Health Education Center was one of the partners at the mobile heath event.
Big Bend AHEC is a nonprofit organization that provides everyone with free services such as diabetes prevention management, tobacco sensation programs, health insurance enrollment, breast cancer programs, and more.
Health Promotion Specialist at the Big Bend Area Health Education Center Jill Patel shared some of her experiences and some concerns she has related to health in the local community.
“A lot of people aren’t aware that the health insurance enrollment period has been extended to August 15, or a lot of people don’t know the different ways to treat diabetes,” said Patel. “Many people think it’s just ‘I have it, and now I have to take medication for the rest of my life,’ but there are a lot of other things that come with it, and with this event we are opening individual eyes to the many different help options available.”
The next mobile doctor van health event will be July 17 in Chattahoochee at Elizabeth African Methodist Episcopal Church.
For more information about how to sign up or attend the next Mobile Van Health services event, contact Gadsden County Health Council by email at GCHDMailbox@flhealth.gov or by phone at (850) 329-0685.
Daunte Williams – Gadsden County News Service
Photos by Daunte Williams