KFP: Kinston Community Health kicking off week of activities

health week

Mayor B.J. Murphy presents Kinston Community Health Center’s CEO, Sanja Hudson, with the 2013 Proclamation for National Health Center Week on Monday. Saturday kicks off events through the week, culminating in a health fair Aug. 17.

Submitted photo

Published: Friday, August 9, 2013 at 19:56 PM.

Health centers nationwide are celebrating Community Health Center Week next week, and Kinston Community Health Center is no exception.

The downtown center, 324 N. Queen St., has likely been celebrating the special week of health activities since the center was built in 1995, according to officials.

It’s part of giving back to the community, KCHC’s CEO Sanja Hudson said.

“If you are in the community,” she said, “we are basically providing this free of charge.”

This year’s theme is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Transforming Health Care in our Local Communities.” Health Center Week raises awareness about community health centers as a solution for affordable and accessible health care.

Mayor B.J. Murphy signed a proclamation on Monday for the 2013 celebration that kicks off today with free vision screenings provided by the local Lions Industry for the Blind.

Residents are invited to stop by and get their vision checked between 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Lions van outside the clinic.

A “Jail and Bail” fundraiser will take place on Tuesday.

“This is the first year we are basically doing the Jail and Bail,” Hudson said.

The center’s board members will be “arrested” and sent to one of two jails, provided by the Big Blue Store, that will be set up in the two clinic lobbies.

The “judge” will be retired veteran, Chuck Kienest.

“He’s going to be ‘sentencing’ board members,” Hudson said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

About 10 board members will be sent to jail for such infractions as leaving board meetings early or using their cell phones during meetings.

Some will be fortunate enough to pay their bail and avoid jail time. Others will sit in jail waiting for kind-hearted family members, friends and residents to pay their $500 bond. The event will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Chronic kidney screenings will be held in the UNC-Chapel Hill kidney van from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday. Residents can pre-register for the free screenings today. There are 40 slots, but they are filling up.

“We would encourage people who are diabetic or think they are diabetic,” Hudson said, “or have some type of heart problem.”

Registration is taking place at the Friends of the Homeless shelter, 115 N. Independence St., or the clinic. Call the shelter today at 252-522-2788 or KCHC at 252-522-9800, ext. 252, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sports physicals for middle and high school students will be offered for $20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday inside the clinic. No registration is required.

On Aug. 17, the concluding event will be the health fair, which will focus on military families and veterans of Lenoir County, as well as women’s health.

“There are going to be plenty of activities for the youth,” Hudson said.

There will be large tents outside with health information booths, vendors, medical screenings, veterans’ organizations and entertainment. One booth will focus on answering questions about the Affordable Care Act, Hudson said.

Seating will be available inside the clinic for those who need a cool place to sit, she said.

An opening ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and the day’s events will conclude at 3 p.m.

 

Margaret Fisher can be reached at 252-559-1082 orMargaret.Fisher@Kinston.com. Follow her on Twitter @MargaretFishr.