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June 21, 2012 (City Heights – Somali Family Service of San Diego, in partnership with the East African Collaborative, will host its fourth annual Health Fair in Honor of World Refugee Day on June 23 from 1- 6 p.m. at the City Heights Community Park, south of the City Heights Weingart Branch Library at 3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego.

The event brings together East African communities in San Diego in a setting where residents can get health checkups and learn about health topics including mental health, how to access care, nutrition, exercise, preventive screening and care. Community groups will also provide educational information booths in the park.

There will also be a panel discussion with representatives from the organizations, giving residents an opportunity to ask questions about their health and access to healthcare.

The theme of this year’s health fair is health care reform;San Diegans for Health Care Coverage will give a special presentation on the topic. The event will be family friendly, including health checkups provided by La Maestra, entertainment for children, cultural food, and a DJ. The fair will conclude with a 2-mile-long senior walk around the park, to encourage regular exercise as an important part of wellness. Each year the event attracts over 400 community members.

Organizations providing educational booths include:  The County of San Diego Central Region Public Health, Aging and Independence Services, Union of Pan Asian Communities, Mental Health America, Legal Aid, Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, American Red Cross, Community Health Group, International Rescue Committee, Jewish Family Service and others.

Since 2000, Somali Family Service has been a leading social service provider in the refugee community, offering culturally and linguistically appropriate programs focused on health promotion, youth development, economic and financial literacy, and leadership development.

The East African Collaborative is a collaborative of eight organizations serving East African communities in San Diego County – Bridging Communities, Horn of Africa, Huda Community Center, Nile Sisters, Somali Family Service, Somali Youth United, Southern Sudanese Community Center of San Diego, and the South Sudan Christian Youth and Community Organization. The purpose of the East African Collaborative,funded by The California Endowment, is to educate and engage the East African community about healthcare reform in a way that is culturally competent and respectful of diversity, for the benefit of the community, and in order to build capacity in organizations and the people they serve.

For more information about the event, or the host organizations, please contact Hana Mandikova, 619-265-5821, ext. 208, hmandikova@sfssd.org.


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