Local congregation hosts health fair

Sojourner Truth Ministries hosted its first Health Fair on Sept. 14.

Available at the event were free screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar and vaccines for the flu.

Also, a number of representatives from local health care organizations brought information to share, and the Williamsport Bureau of Fire displayed one of its ladder trucks.

A number of people who came in for the daily lunch provided at Sojourner Truth, 501 High St., had the chance to talk to health providers at the fair.

“We have a lot of people who come here who don’t have insurance, and a lot of people who have health insurance and don’t even use it,” said Pastor Christine Carroll, who coordinated the event. “We’re hoping people can find out some information that’s very vital to their health.”

Sheina Theodore, a third-year medical student at Commonwealth Medical College, was testing people for diabetes and handing out free glucose-monitoring kits.

“We’ve seen a lot of patients who we see in the office come through the health fair,” Theodore said. “We’ve done about 30 tests today.”

Jan Todd, outreach coordinator for Susquehanna Community Health Center, was there to help people figure out where they stand when Obamacare is implemented.

“Oct. 1 open enrollment starts,” Todd said. “It’s time to get on it.”

Carroll hopes the event is only the first of its kind at Sojourner Truth, and she and the Rev. Velinda Webb-Smith, Sojourner’s director, want to bring in a nutritionist to show people how to fix healthy meals.

“Diabetes and hypertension lead to a vast number of other difficulties,” Carroll said. “Early detection is very important.”