More than 1,300 people received free health screenings Sunday at Kaiser Permanente offices in Modesto and Stockton.
Doctors, nurses and other health care providers checked patients' blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, performed prostate exams and immunized patients for diseases such as whooping cough.
Patients also were told about the changes they can make to improve their health, such as losing weight, becoming more active and giving up smoking.
"Sometimes they just need to hear the message again, to have the message brought home with a lab test or from a health care provider," said Dr. Michael Wong, one of the organizers and founders of Kaiser's Neighbors in Health fairs for Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, which are in their 13th year.
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The health fairs were held at Kaiser's Stockton medical offices on West Lane and its Dale Road medical offices in Modesto.
Wong said patients who need further care were referred to other health care providers, which have agreed to provide the care for no or little cost. Patients also made appointments for mammograms, and a limited number of medications, such as antibiotics, were dispensed.
The health fairs are meant for the uninsured and underinsured. Wong said that for many who turned out Sunday, the health fair is their only visit to the doctor each year.
1,365 men, women, children served
The two fairs served 1,365 men, women and children, according to a Kaiser spokesman. The Stockton fair drew the majority of patients. As of 2 p.m., Modesto had served 200 patients.
Wong noticed two trends this year -- far fewer children and more unemployed people.
In years past, he said, children made up about 25 percent of those served. This year, they were about 10 percent.
And while the fair drew the working poor, he also saw more people who had been laid off.
"I did note, as I went around, a lot of people who have lost their jobs," he said.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2316.