BUENA PARK, CA - The cultural complex at Jain Center of Southern California here was a make shift health center on March 16 for the 24th Annual Health Fair. Close to 300 patients were seen from routine checkup to consultations with specialists to dental extractions at no charge. The event, organized by Anekant Community Center (ACC) and Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC), has been growing each year..
City Mayor, Miller Oh, Police Chief Corey Sianez, Director of Community Development, Joel Rosen, and Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Greg McKeown attended the function. McKeown reminded everyone about the importance of smoke detectors and changing the batteries in the smoke detectors twice a year. The Orange County Fire Department will provide and install a smoke detector for you if you don’t have one.
The primary organizers of the event were Dr. Ramesh Kothari and Dr. Nitin Shah. Both worked hard in corralling medical professionals, arranging for supplies and volunteers. Dr. Jayesh Shah, immediate past president of JCSC and Dr. Manibhai Mehta also assisted with the planning and execution of the health fair. JSCS President, Virendra Shah, welcomed and thanked everyone for their time, effort and hard work. For patients, the first step was registering either ahead of time or walk-in. With their file in hand, each person was off to the vital signs area for height, weight and blood pressure reading. A primary care physician reviewed the medical history, patient’s health concerns, and ordered blood work as needed.
The students and faculty from ABC Adult School led vital signs measurement, hemoglobin and blood testing. A lower than normal reading for hemoglobin reveals there is a low red blood cell count (anemia) or a higher than normal level reading may indicate other causes. The lab tests results were immediate with a finger prick for blood sugar and lipid panel. In speaking with several patients, the main concern was, “I want to know my sugar level because diabetes runs in my family.” Those with high sugar levels and also referred by a physician had additional testing for hemoglobin A1C to evaluate the status of diabetes.
Yoga expert for Diabetes, K.V. Chakrapani, explained a yoga routine program, locally designed for diabetics to reduce their levels for blood sugar, cholesterol, weight and stress.
Some of the specialties represented were: internal medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, urology, orthopedics, Dermatology, nephrology, physical therapy etc. Women were provided with Pap smear. More than 100 electrocardiogram or EKG, a noninvasive test, was conducted for cardiac screening as warranted. There were professionals to guide in life style changes including dieticians and yoga experts.
Soneji, from Sarathi, led the audience through a quick 30 seconds yogic breathing session which can benefit each person. Alternative medicine specialists were also available with acupuncture and homeopathy. Everyone was encouraged to register themselves for the bone marrow match drive.
For the first time, arrangements were made for free dental extractions and fillings to those who needed them with eight dental chairs. Two of the dental chairs were used for portal x-ray equipment while six chairs were dedicated for the procedures. About 100 patients were seen, 50 of them had teeth extractions, 15 of them had fillings done while the rest had other types of procedures. All procedures were done on site! This was possible courtesy of Lestonnac Free Clinic. A few of the faculty of Western University School of Dental Medicine and community dentists performed these services. This year, there were 50 doctors and medical professionals on site to provide the free services and consultations. About 65 volunteers worked on registration, flow of patients from station to station, conducting non-medical services, and serving breakfast and lunch.