Extension office partners with ADPH to host health, resource fair

Published 6:36 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Lowndes County Extension Office and the Alabama Department of Public Health are partnering to host a Lowndes County Health and Resource Far on Jan. 24.

The fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Lowndes County Health Department on Tuskeena Street. Residents who attend can receive a COVID vaccine and information, a flu vaccine, door prizes and a broad range of information about local available resources.

“This is the first time in recent years we have partnered with ADPH for a specific push concerning COVID,” said Tana Shealey, Extension Office Coordinator. “We will share information about the latest research regarding the COVID vaccine and how COVID is manifesting now in the community. This is an opportunity for residents to learn about something that is evolving, because viruses change. We want to give them firsthand information from researchers and clinicians.”

Shealey said ADPH representatives will be on hand to answer questions and put residents at ease if they have concerns about the vaccine.

“Citizens will be able to determine if they want to get a vaccination or not,” Shealey said. “It’s at no cost. We’re trying to mitigate residents driving to another county for health services and put stakeholders at ease as they learn about ways to take steps to impact their health.”

Shealey said COVID information is still important because while the pandemic seems to have subsided, the virus can still be contracted.

“Research is showing that people can still develop COVID,” Shealey said. “Having the vaccine lessens the effects of it. Having those conversations based on research helps people understand how best to protect themselves.”

Nada Al Assi with ADPH said the event will be held outside if weather conditions permit.

“We’ll have a table for the health department where residents can get the flu shot,” she said. “And we will pass out materials on other programs we offer.”

Al Assi said The Wellness Coalition will provide pre-diabetes assessments to identify people with a high risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes.

“They can screen [visitors] and then enroll them into a program to help make sure they do not develop diabetes,” Al Assi said.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) representatives will provide menus and recipes for low-cost meals which help families with budget planning, Shealey said.

Mary Wedgeworth with the Alabama Cares Program will be on hand with information on resources available to senior citizens.

“The Health Fair is part of trying to introduce people to the resources available to them in this community,” Al Assi said. “I think its really important because there are a lot of resources but people just don’t know about them. Many organizations want to help and try to help, but it’s hard sometimes to get the word out and let people know so they can utilize the services.

For more information, call (334) 213-8016 or contact the Lowndes County Health Department at (334) 548-2564.