Residents of government subsidized public housing often have high rates of preventable chronic diseases – such as obesity and diseases related to it.
"Mississippi is the most obese state in the nation, and that is indicative of some of our residents," said Ron Turner, executive director of the Meridian Housing Authority (MHA).
MHA has partnered with several local health care professionals to provide preventative and curative medical assistance to public housing residents – as well as those living throughout the community – during its first East End Health Fair. Set for Friday at George Reese Court Housing Development, the event will mark the continuation of a commitment made by MHA and leaders of the health care industry to call awareness to the various health issues currently facing the state of Mississippi and more specifically, residents in the East End Choice Neighborhood.
In January, the Meridian Housing Authority was awarded a $242,500 competitive HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning grant to develop a comprehensive community transformation plan for East Meridian. A community health task force has been organized to address growing health concerns of the targeted neighborhood.
Issues to be addressed during the health fair will include: flu vaccination, diabetes education, blood pressure checks, dangers of second hand tobacco smoke, cholesterol checks, weight management, vision exams, and proper foot care, dental education, HIV screening, glucose testing and more. Local health professionals participating are: Greater Meridian Health Clinic, Mississippi Department of Health, Walmart Vision Center, Weems Mental Health, Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition, Rush Health Systems, Anderson Regional Medical Center, Information & Quality Health Care and others. The agencies will provide preventive and curative medical assistance to Meridian residents during its first East End Health Fair.
"This community partnership also serves to ensure the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that meaningful collaborative efforts are being sustained to provide affordable, safe and healthy housing opportunities for all residents of the East End Choice Neighborhood," Turner said.
The fair will kicked off with a “March for a Healthy East End” led by Meridian High School JROTC and Drum Corps at 10:45 a.m., followed by a brief “East End Healthy Choice” program under the big tent at the George Reese Court Housing Development.
The George Reese Court resident advisory board will grill hot dogs and provide drinks for all in attendance.
What: East End Choice Neighborhood Health Fair
When: Friday, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; kickoff parade begins at 10:45 a.m.
Where: George Reese Court Housing Development, 1318 19th St.
Information: Participation is free