by David Anderson
For Carolyn Fredericks, Saturday’s annual health fair at the Kinston Community Health Center was an opportunity to learn about health resources available through the KCHC and other community providers.
For her three grandchildren, it was an opportunity to get their faces painted.
“They love the face painting part of it,” Fredericks said of 3-year-old Jayonia, 4-year-old Brianna and 9-year-old Jaheem Pullen.
The girls had brightly-colored butterflies; Jaheem had a vampire on his face.
“I like a lot of the information that they’ve got out here,” said Fredericks.
The KCHC has hosted a health fair for at least six years, in conjunction with National Health Center Week, which runs from today to Aug. 11.
Local Boy Scouts presided over a flag-raising ceremony Saturday morning, and Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy read a proclamation in honor of National Health Center Week.
“What they do to save emergency room visits is very unique, and is of great benefit to not only the citizens of Kinston and Lenoir County, but the surrounding areas,” Murphy said later.
The KCHC serves thousands of patients each year from Kinston, Lenoir County and the surrounding areas. It provides medical, dental and pharmacy services.
Patients without insurance are charged on a sliding scale, said board Chairman Courtney Patterson.
“We try as much as we can to make sure health care is available to every individual,” he said.
Patterson said the annual health fair is designed to let the public know about the services available through KCHC.
“And hopefully, they’ll come back and take advantage of some of the services,” board member James Wilkins added.
Saturday’s fair included hot dogs and hamburgers, giveaways of food and water donated by the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, health screenings, children’s activities, and local and national services for veterans.
A mobile Vet Center from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was parked in the KCHC lot, with staffers available for questions.
“We wanted to integrate the veterans’ services and veterans’ resources into our health fair (this year),” said Anna Kinsey, community outreach director for the Health Center.
She added: “There’s a lot of veterans that have expressed interest in our clinic. . . . We’ll be here all the time for any information they may need.”
For more information on the Kinston Community Health Center, visit kinstonhealth.org, or call 252-522-9800.
David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at DavidFreePress.