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Immaculate Heart
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offers comprehensive
health fair

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placeholder  May 19, 2014   •   VOL. 52, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
Senior Living & Resources

Some of the Ministry of Caring members at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish are, standing, from left, Lisa Ellingson, Marie Lombardi, Mary Ann Smith, Sandy Heinisch. Bea Elkins is seated.
Courtesy photo

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish
offers comprehensive health fair

Representatives from a number of senior organizations such as Contra Costa Senior Legal Services; Meals on Wheels; and Elderly Wish, which grants wishes to dying seniors, will be on hand at a Health Fair at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Brentwood.

Free Health Fair
May 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 500 Fairview Ave., Brentwood
Information about Medicare and health-care services will be available.

"It's more than a health fair," said Mary Ann Smith, RN. "It's a community fair."

The Health Fair has at least three nurses on the case.

Smith and fellow nurse Sandy Heinisch are chairing the event, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Caring at the parish, whose pastor, Father Jerry Brown, has the initials RN after his name.

"The other hat I wear," said Father Brown, "I'm also a registered nurse." He has been involved in the Health Fair, interested in connecting attendees with programs to help them improve and maintain their health.

He'll be at the Health Fair, greeting parishioners and other visitors.

"We nurses never retire," said Smith. "I think I'm going to be the oldest RN in California."

How fortunate for the parish, which saw more than 200 people come out to a health fair two years ago.

On May 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Community Life Center of the parish, at 500 Fairview Ave., more than 35 representatives of health care agencies and providers — "a potpourri of vendors," Smith said — will be on hand to provide information and screenings.

The event is geared for people of all ages, Smith said, with a special children's activity area.

Area hospitals, including Sutter Delta and John Muir Medical Center, will send representatives, as well as home health care agencies. The RotaCare clinic, the free clinic that partners with St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County, will be represented.

An optometrist and an urologist will be among the doctors onsite during the event, Smith said.

Attendees will be able to get their blood pressure checked, as well as get some answers to weight-management questions, Smith said.

Other organizations include the Alzheimer's disease agency; NAMI of Contra Costa County, a mental health organization; and Dogs for Diabetes, which trains dogs to assist owners with the condition. Pillars of Hope, a group that fights human trafficking, and I Can Help, an anti-bullying organization, will also be present.

Chair massages will be available, courtesy of Trilogy, Smith said. Another popular exhibit from last time returns as Fresh & Easy markets promotes healthy eating.

Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Mary Rocha is expected to attend, Smith said.

In addition, the parish ministry of caring presents informative talks on health topics, Heinisch said. Upcoming topics include Alzheimer's disease, cancer and women's health issues.

Under the umbrella of this ministry is bereavement ministry, which Heinisch has become well known in the diocese, and beyond.

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