It’s Health Fair Season!

This post was written by Brianna Alex, a Health Educator at Allegheny County Health Department Chronic Disease Prevention Program and Maternal Child Health.

Community Concerns

Health fairs provide community members an opportunity to talk with organizations about common health issues and concerns. Recently, Pittsburgh residents have been troubled with high lead drinking water levels. Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority estimate that 25% of its 80,000 customers get their water through lead service lines. Tap water tests done at 149 city residences with known lead service lines in December 2016 calculated lead at 18 parts per billion — above the state and federal 15 parts per billion action level. At health fairs residents are able to learn about the effects of lead, how to decrease health risks, and the next steps lawmakers will take. 

Health Screenings at Health Fairs

In an effort to reduce barriers in medically underserved communities, health fairs often provide basic health screenings for little to no cost. Community members may be able to get vision and hearing tests or blood pressure checks. They have some access to health information and screenings through these health fairs. They learn about the locations for additional health services and identify community resources that may help them achieve their health goals.

Face-To-Face Contact

Health fairs have evolved to fill an unmet public health need, including the dissemination of health information and the provision of screening services. Receiving information from health professionals is one of the most important sources for obtaining health information regardless of health literacy. Thus, highlighting the importance of face-to-face contact with health professionals.

Allegheny County Health Department

There are currently four National Health Corps members at the Allegheny County Health Department. I am with the Chronic Disease and Maternal and Child Health Programs. Depending on the type of health fair, I will provide information about nurse home visiting programs, smoking cessation programs, drug use, diabetes education, cancer screenings, healthy eating, physical activity, and much more. I’m ready to dive back into the Health Fair season!

Source: Hopey, Don. "Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority tests find lead again." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 20 Jan. 2017. Web.