Castle Family Health Centers to host Health Fest in Atwater

08/08/2014 2:35 PM

08/08/2014 4:43 PM

Castle Family Health Centers on Saturday will host its seventh annual Summer Family Health Festival, where providers will offer a variety of medical screenings free of charge.

Some of the services provided will include: blood pressure, glucose, vision, dental and hearing screenings, as well as breast examinations. Tdap vaccinations, which protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, will also be available. Organizers said glaucoma screenings by the center’s ophthalmology department will also be provided, which is new to the festival. The only services that will have acharge are sports physicals for students, which will cost $25, organizers said.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3605 Hospital Road in Atwater, the former Air Force base.

According to Isaac Medina, one of the event’s organizers, the health festival is also a resource fair, where residents can learn about the services available locally. The festival’s attendance grows every year, Medina said. He estimates last year’s event gathered about 1,600 people from Merced and surrounding counties.

All providers at Castle Family Health Centers are required to be present at the health festival, ensuring that enough physicians will be available to see and advise patients, Medina said.

“There will be providers on standby, in case we detect something out of the ordinary during a screening,” Medina said. If necessary, patients may also schedule appointments to follow up with a Castle Family Health Center provider at a later date.

“The economy is pretty rough, and there are still many people worried about medical costs and struggling because they don’t have insurance,” Medina said. “At this event, people don’t have to worry about insurance – cost is irrelevant.”

Because the event happens only once a year, Medina encourages people to make use of the free services available to them.

Covered California representatives will also be on-site to address concerns regarding health coverage. In-Shape and other community partners will be present to promote physical activity and healthy eating.

The health festival will also include free food and entertainment.

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