January 26, 2017
By Marissa Lee
Rain didn’t keep Palm Spring residents at home on Saturday January 7, 2017. Around 300 people attended a health fair hosted at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center in Palm Springs, CA. Organized by the Desert Highland Gateway Wellness Committee in partnership with the Palm Springs Loins Club, this health fair offered a wide variety of healthcare services including free flu shots, HIV testing, dental exams, and a mobile medical unit. Most prominent was a sight clinic hosted by the Lions Club’s resources for the blind and hearing impaired. This clinic performed vision exams for over 200 people including children and adults, hearing exams for 42 attendees, and provided 5 amplifiers and free prescription glasses to attendees screened.
Also in attendance was Loma Linda University’s Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine (CHDMM) hosting a table highlighting Project C.H.A.N.G.E. (Changing Health for Adult Men with New and Great Experiences). Focusing on addressing the increasing challenges of prostate cancer among Black men specifically, the CHDMM in partnership with Loma Linda University’s School of Behavioral health were promoting a second health fair for men in the community on February 26, 2017 at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center*. Loma Linda School of Public Health student Christopher Montgomery was among those at the CHDMM table spreading the word about this upcoming health fair. He was encouraged by diversity of attendees from children to grandparents of all races who were all able to benefit from the services offered.
This event was entirely volunteer run. From sterilizing eye machines with alcohol wipes to directing attendees throughout the day, the members of the Desert Highland Gateway Wellness Committee in Palm Springs, CA, truly hosted their community with their dedicated service. The Desert Highland Gateway Wellness Committee is a beautiful example of community strength and tenacity as they continue to work to bring resources, hope, and empowerment to their community. The health fair on January 7, 2017 is the hopeful beginnings of many more annual health fairs at the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center to come.