By: Simone LeConte-Parker

New York City is full of things to do and attending the Second Annual Community Health Fair in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, proved to be a good choice. Presented by the Office of Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Health, this fair provided a myriad of resources for attendees. There was a steady stream of people at the Sunset Park Recreation Center, who were eager to obtain health-related information, speak with vendors, and utilize other services provided at the event.

Some of the available services included blood pressure screening, free rapid HIV testing, and health insurance enrollment. March was Tuberculosis Awareness Month so free and confidential tuberculosis (TB) testing was also available. According to the New York City Department of Health, getting tested is important because TB can be prevented and cured.

Carmen Calderin, Director of Constituent Services for the Office of Assistant Speaker, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, stated that “there is a high rate of TB in Sunset Park communities.” With a diverse crowd present for the event, including Asian and Hispanic individuals, several of them were able to get tested. Ms. Calderin added “we are so excited that the information we sent out into the community helped us get a good turnout.”

Another highlight was the availability of free information provided by some organizations to help seniors stay on top of their health care. One such organization is United Senior Citizens of Sunset Park, /which is funded by the NYC Department for the Aging. They provided information for seniors and some of their members even participated in the free testing. Also present at this event was AlphaCare. They provided resources for seniors to help keep them active in their communities. Through AlphaCare’s Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plan, they focus on the unique challenges of dealing with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities.

This Community Health Fair provided something for everyone including the very young. Parents were able to obtained information on free Child ID Kits. Children were even able to entertain themselves with free balloons and school supplies while parents and grandparents gathered useful information and free giveaways from various vendors.