People of all ages gathered at the North Texas Wellness Fair on Aug. 6 to better themselves and their communities. 

The Hispanic Wellness Coalition has produced the fair every year for more than two decades, Executive Director Anelia Banda said. The coalition partners with several health providers to offer free mammograms, dental exams, kidney screenings, school physicals and other services. Several hundred people attended the event. 

Want to get involved with the Hispanic Wellness Coalition?

Website: hispanicwellnesscoalition.org
Phone: 817-735-2784
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hispanicwellnesscoalition

The fair makes it possible for people to access health care they may not have otherwise, and in one place. The coalition doesn’t ask people to register ahead of time or have insurance.

“If you look around the room, you will see that there’s a lot of darker colored people here,” Banda said. “They’re coming here because they don’t speak the language, they don’t have the money, they don’t have the transportation, and they have a medical something that they’re wanting to know, ‘Am I OK?’”

Among the services provided, coalition partners chatted with visitors about why their table or service mattered and how to improve people’s health. 

At the Texas CEAL Consortium table, for example, Caleb Crago, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington, spoke with attendees about how to prevent COVID-19. He recommended mask wearing, hand-washing and getting vaccinated. He also noted that COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color. 

Hispanic and Black people are about twice as likely as hospitalized from COVID-19 than white people, according to July data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“That’s why it’s really important that we’re here, educating and helping inform people that, ‘Hey, there are some really easy, tangible things that can be done, and it doesn’t have to be this big, scary, overwhelming thing,’” Crago said.

The next wellness fair is Oct. 1 at the Trinity River Tarrant County College campus.

Keyla Holmes is the Scripps Howard Foundation Emerging Journalists Program intern for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her by email at keyla.holmes@fortworthreport.org.

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