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Ventanilla de Salud Health Fair Brings Essential Services & Screenings to Austin

Attendees and staff at health fair

Last week, 20 Austin-area children had an incredibly good day. Thanks to a generous donation from the US Hispanic Contractors Association (USHCA), these lucky children won brand new bicycles, during a raffle in the midst of a health fair at a local school, sponsored by HSHCA, Austin's Ventanilla de Salud, and Austin Public Health. “When you see the children with the winning number – their faces! It’s precious,” said Roxana Pineda, MPH, Ventanilla de Salud Coordinator for Migrant Clinicians Network. “But it’s great to see the fathers and mothers, too, when they see their children with their new bicycle. They’re also excited!”

Free bicycles, however, were just one aspect of this remarkable community affair. In the gym, the National Kidney Foundation provided 72 free screenings -- and 13 of the people screened had abnormal results. “That’s exactly why we do these clinics. We try to avoid more complications. When we have these clinics with NKF, the team from Texas University, Central Health, Ascension, and Satellite Healthcare brings a nephrologist and health care staff who will follow up with them,” Pineda said, to ensure they get care and their kidney health doesn't further decline.

Attendees navigate the health fair

In the art room and gym, Austin Public Health provided dozens of vaccines to adults and children. The teacher break room was taken over by members of the local Lyon’s Club, who took advantage of the darker room to provide free vision screenings to 100 people; 22 people left with vouchers to get prescription glasses. MCN’s Jimena De Leija, Promotora de Salud at the Ventanilla in Austin, provided interpretation for the Lyons and Elizabeth Gonzalez-Ibarra, Health Network Associate, was in charge of the registration process.

In the cafeteria, community partners sharing their information and services included Central Texas Food Bank, Dell Children’s Health, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Superior Health Plan.

A photo with the winner of a bike at the health fair

In all, about 300 people attended the event. The school, with a student population that is about 80% Latinx, served as a great community meeting place for attending families. The Ventanilla de Salud, of course, is not done. Their monthly health fairs reach hundreds of Austin-area Latinxs with health information, screenings, and prevention services. Follow their work and hear about upcoming health events on their active Facebook page: