Tour of Wellness coming to Fort Deposit

Published 2:03 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

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The Wellness Coalition is bringing a Tour of Wellness to local communities this summer and on June 17, the group is sponsoring a Community Health Fair at Fort Deposit Community Park.

The fair begins at 9 a.m. and will feature food, vendors, prizes and fun until 1 p.m. at the park located at 315 Gilmer Hills Road.

Dr. Debrica Jackson with the Wellness Coalition said the event is the second health fair the group has hosted in Lowndes County in partnership with other groups, including the Lowndes County Extension Office, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Family Sunshine Center, and many others.

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“The goal is to bring awareness of what’s available to residents that they may not know about,” Jackson said. “Maybe there are organizations that give out free food that citizens are not aware of. We don’t just limit the event to healthcare. We try to get agencies out so that the community knows what’s available to them so that they don’t stay in a place of ignorance.”

Residents who attend will gain access to information about COVID-19 boosters, home health, cancer support, Medicare, wellness case management. No-cost wellness programs, healthy nutrition, substance abuse support, tips for physical activity, and many other topics.

Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Tana Shealey works to schedule workshops and classes on subjects ranging from agricultural and animal science to community resource development to human nutrition science.

“One of the reasons we partner with groups holding such great events as this one is because we want to take research-based information into all communities in Lowndes County,” Shealey said. “Partners such as the Wellness Coalition make it possible for us to share that information and schedule classes in relaxed settings that our stakeholders select.  We have met at community centers, senior centers, and churches for our DEEP [Diabetes Empowerment Education Program] program.”

DEEP is an Extension program that trains residents in ways to understand diabetes and share that information with others in their communities. 

“Regional Extension Agent Helen Jones, a licensed dietician and nutritionist, teaches the class. Jones uses lectures, group discussions, and educational handouts to explain how diabetes impacts the body, ways to manage the disease, and some ways to prevent type II diabetes,” said Shealey.

“Weekends allow us a little more time to talk with stakeholders who aren’t as rushed with work duties. At the event, residents can help us schedule some of our educational classes with their community groups, churches, or even schedule time during work hours for training sessions,” Shealey said.

In addition to resources about local services, the Wellness Coalition will distribute information about health insurance, Jackson explained.

“We are servicing those individuals who have low or no insurance,” Jackson said. “They don’t even know how to enroll or whether they can afford it, so we let them know that it can be obtained at a low cost or even free. So, that’s the main purpose [of the fair]. We want to bring awareness to the community of what’s available to them.”

Call (334) 293-6502 for more information or to participate.