June 23, 2010 (La Mesa) -- The 10th annual Summer Healthcare Saturday, East County’s largest free health fair, held June 19th at Grossmont Center, was by far the most successful ever, according to Mike Cully, president/CEO of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. The event was organized by the Chamber and co-sponsored by Grossmont Healthcare District, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Alvarado Hospital and Grossmont Center.
“We exceeded in all areas from last year,” said Cully. “We had greater participation for a wider range of organizations, which provided a more informative and fulfilling experience for attendees. Our foot traffic was easily doubled, and the attendees ranged from youth to seniors. There was something here for everyone.”
A steady flow of guests kept exhibitors busy at 56 booths offering free health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure and stroke, as well as free health information on such topics as nutrition, health insurance, medical supplies, senior care, senior housing, hospice care, home safety and social services. Also available was information on herbal supplements, weight control, fitness centers, day spas, chiropractic, massage and reflexology, addiction programs and various medical conditions, including chronic pain and Alzheimer’s. Even the Kiwanis Club of La Mesa had a booth. The exhibit booths were located near Target and the movie theaters.
The Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region, informed guests about its William C. Herrick Community Health Care Library at Briercrest Park, 9001 Wakarusa St. in La Mesa. The public library, which opened in 2002, is a comprehensive consumer health library specializing in providing reliable health information, accessible both on-site and via the Internet. The library provides free public access to the latest medical information in print and electronic formats. It is both a traditional library, as well as a “digital library,” with emphasis on Internet access to on-line resources.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital made an impact at Summer Healthcare Saturday with eight booths featuring diabetes, blood pressure and stroke screenings, along with information on the hospital, Senior Resource Center, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Center and Cancer Center. Sharp Grossmont Hospital is the largest not-for-profit, full-service acute care hospital in San Diego’s East County, serving the community for more than 50 years. The medical center is a Magnet-designated facility, recognized nationally for nursing excellence, and is part of Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s most comprehensive health care delivery system and a 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient.
Alvarado Hospital manned five exhibit booths at Summer Healthcare Saturday with information about its Advanced Spine Institute, San Diego Rehabilitation Institute and the Surgical Weight-Loss Program. Alvarado officials, including Joy Lomahan, marketing coordinator, touted Alvarado’s recent dual stroke certification as both a Primary Stroke Center and a Gold Seal of Approval stroke rehabilitation facility from The Joint Commission. Alvarado is one the first hospitals in the U.S. to receive dual designations in stroke care.
Roger Roberts, 2010 Chamber chairman of the board, said, “Our efforts at this event demonstrate the role of the Chamber to serve not only business owners but the community as part of our far-reaching business plan and advocacy efforts. Clearly, there is a need in the community for this type of event.”
Andrea Holmberg, program coordinator for the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Senior Resource Center, said there were definitely more attendees to this year’s event, compared to previous years. “There was a constant flow of activity throughout the day. People were interested in receiving information for themselves and their families.”
Cully himself benefited from Summer Healthcare Saturday two years. When his blood pressure was checked, the readings were higher than normal to his surprise. Today, Cully is taking prescription medicines to get his blood pressure under control. “This event saved my life,” he concluded.