By Karen Stokes
Outreach Community Health Centers, 210 West Capitol Dr., held its annual Community Health & Resource Fair, on Thursday, Aug. 6. The fair featured a book bag and health care resource give away.
Due to COVID-19, this free annual event paid special attention to safety. Everyone attending was asked to wear a face mask, practice social distancing and follow all of the recommended CDC safety measures.
“This year with COVID-19, we thought about canceling the event but we still wanted to give something back to the community. So, our planning team came together and the board thought it was a great suggestion that we still looked at doing something for our community, so that ended up being what is now called the Drive/Walk-through Community Health and Resource Fair,” said Penelope Stewart, director of marketing for Outreach Community Health Centers.
Hundreds of community members came out to learn about the different resources and support options that are available to them in the city. Most drove through the parking lot and remained in their cars when stopping at various stations to receive giveaways.
Samples of hand sanitizers, masks, toothbrushes and information concerning available resources in the community were found in the complementary resource bags. Bags of fresh produce and books bags filled with school supplies for elementary level children ages 6 to 11 were also available.
“The supplies were outlined by MPS so the children would have exactly what they needed,” said Stewart. “Taking away some stress from the parents.”
COVID-19 has changed the way Milwaukee Public Schools students are being educated. This fall students will start the school year online and gradually return to in-person classrooms once the threat of the virus has subsided.
The students will now be equipped with supplies.
Brian Williams, a volunteer and the account executive for Jammin’ 98.3 FM, explained why Outreach Community Health Center is important to Milwaukee.
“Everyone is entitled to health care and they provide that to the underserved in our community here in Milwaukee,” he said.
Outreach Community Health Centers is a full-service health care center that offers quality, integrated care and services that address social determinants of health.
“We understand especially during COVID-19 that people are losing their jobs, hours are being cut, people need help and we want the community to know that we’re here for them,” Stewart said.
The event was sponsored in part by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield,
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin, Advocate Aurora Health Care, BMO Harris Bank, Herb Kohl Philanthropies and Gruber Law Offices.