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Cleveland Clinic hosts community health fairs at 4 area hospitals Thursday

Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic
Posted at 6:15 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 06:15:52-04

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic is actively working to provide healthcare to underserved and under-represented communities across Northeast Ohio.

For the first time since pre-pandemic--the hospital system is hosting a multi-location—community health fair Thursday evening at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus' Crile Building, Akron General Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, and South Pointe Hospital.

Patients say it’s more important than ever before.

It's happening at a time when many people have put off routine appointments and screenings due to the pandemic and general lack of access.

"These tests are simple. They're free. There's no pain associated with them," said Pam Watts, a Cleveland Clinic patient.

That's exactly why Watts of Shaker Heights is heading to one of the four community health fairs.

More than two years ago, the health fairs and community challenges were a part of her regular routine.

This event marks a second chance for her and other community members to get back on track and be educated about the latest health initiatives and community events.

"It gives us an opportunity to be proactive in trying to deal with whatever issues the screening reveals so we can manage it, take care of it," said Watts.

The multi-location event is a one-stop shop for health screenings, healthcare checkups, and essential information.

Accessibility to medicine is the primary goal.

Cleveland Clinic doctors say it is paramount--especially in marginalized communities where there are often clear health disparities.

This particular event will offer various health screenings to help address the unique needs of Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQIA+ communities.

The Pew Research Center reports that most Black adults say less access to care where they live is a major reason Black people in America have worse health outcomes.

Dr. Crystal Gadegbeku, Cleveland Clinic Glickman, Urological and Kidney Institute Department Chair of Kidney Medicine is aiming to bridge the gap.

“This is opening the door for people, allowing them to have the first chance or a chance again to re-engage with the healthcare community," said Gadegbeku.

The event is for all members of the community 18 and older.

The health fairs will offer screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, diabetes, cancer, and other health-related issues.

These do vary from location to location.

"You get more knowledge, and the more knowledge we have, the better we can age gently, I'll say," said Watts.

Organizers say they’re doing their part to point out that everyone can have healthcare and everyone’s health should be a priority.

"It's truly the first step on breaking down these barriers to healthcare," said Gadegbeku.

Masks will be required and social distancing will be encouraged at these events. Anyone attending is asked to register ahead of time by visiting clevelandclinic.org/chf.

The health fairs run from 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.