American Diversity Group hosts health fair in Baltimore

More than 500 people attend the fair held at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, MD.

Free flu shots are being given at the health fair.
Free flu shots being given at the health fair.

By Surekha Vijh

BALTIMORE: Beautiful sunshine marked the day at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, November 22, normally a place for religious activities, but it turned out to be a day of philanthropy and care, set up by volunteer doctors and health organizations.

A large number of attendees got themselves checked for free at the health fair hosted by the American Diversity Group in association with the Islamic Society of Baltimore and Muslim Bar Council of Baltimore.

More than 500 people attended the free health fair, which began at 9 am and concluded at 3 pm.

Walgreen’s Pharmacy offered free flu shots. There was a table where people got their free eye screening, some lined up for Hepatitis B and C testing. Many people came forward for smoking cessation and screening. Doctors and nurses helped with lung screening and blood pressure testing.  There was also a counter for Federal Affordable Care Act enrollment information as well.

A large number of physicians and volunteers from nonprofits worked tirelessly, to provide healthcare services for a large number of attendees, who would not have, otherwise, been able to afford health insurance or regular checkups. Many of the attendees were older people.

“This health fair saved us time,” said Fauzia Hafiz, who brought her 80-year-old father for a checkup. “[It would have taken many days] until your parents get to see different specialists,” she added.

Easy access to various facilities was one of the main attractions of the fair. There was an efficient triaging of patients to either primary care, or to a dozen medical specialties, and  to the impressive group of the vendors.

In addition to primary care, the medical specialties were available in different fields, including cardiology, dentistry, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology-oncology, nephrology, neurology, otolaryngology, orthopedics, radiology, rheumatology and podiatry.

It was not all screening and testing. The health fair also provided action: there were diabetes and cancer prevention education vendors, healthy living demos and advice booths.

The Maryland Health Connection enrollment information to the uninsured and under-insured about their health care coverage options under the Federal Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and booths with information about WIC programs and Holy Cross Hospital clinics for the uninsured in Aspen Hill and Gaithersburg were deemed very informative by attendees.

The outstanding accomplishments of the day were made possible by the cohesive and dedicated collaboration of the Health Fair planning team, physicians, allied medical personnel, county and state health agencies, voluntary charitable organizations countless volunteers, manage ICB volunteers. They thanked Coordinator Mayur Mody for ‘providing excellent leadership, and inspiring us all with his vision, selfless service and indefatigable energy.

“You can see how many volunteers have worked hard to make this happen,” said Mody, who worked hard in coordinating the fair with the Chairperson of the ICB. Holy Cross Hospital’s community outreach program called this a well organized and comprehensive health fair.

This was a great day to see many smiles on people’s faces. The professionals worked hard to make this happen, and their dedication and expertise paid off well in a successful venture.  Patients were thankful for receiving the physicians’ undivided attention and volunteers’ compassionate nurturing throughout the day.  The health fair was open to people of all different ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. With five hundred attendees of all hues availing themselves of multiple medical resources all under one roof, the acute need for such services was apparent.

A citation from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was given to Mayur Mody, one of the organizers, for his efforts coordinating the heath fair and for doing community service.

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