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Black Family Health & Wellness Expo taking place in Flint March 15

Written by Tanya Terry

Flint Area Links, Incorporated and Hamilton Community Health Network will host a Black Family Wellness Expo from 1-4 p.m. on Friday, March 15. Attending families will have an opportunity to have their teeth examined; register for the Rx Kids program; learn about improving financial health; participate in car, home and gun safety preparedness; get behavioral health education and chronic kidney disease education; get blood pressure and glucose screenings; register to vote; and receive COVID and flu vaccinations. They can also win gift cards, car seats, a tablet and other exciting prizes!

The Courier recently talked to Shirley W. Johnson, chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee for the Flint Area Chapter of the LINKS, Incorporated about how this event was envisioned and its the importance to Flint and the surrounding community.

The Links, Incorporated has declared March 15 as an Impact Day.

“That is the day that all of the LINKS all over the country and out of the country will be encouraging our Black families to take care of their health,” said Shirley W. Johnson, chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee for the Flint Area Chapter of the Link, Incorporated.

Johnson added: “We as a community have a tendency to not have access like we should. When we do have access, sometimes we don’t take advantage of it. The wellness of the family is the entire family: mom, dad, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, whoever. Everybody needs to be well!”

Johnson explained the Flint Area Chapter of the Links, Incorporated looked at the facilities nearby.

Flint Area (MI) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated

“We looked at Hamilton Health Care, and we thought ‘they offer everything that a family would need when it comes to staying healthy,’” said Johnson. “They have all the doctors families need. You can go there, and you can get taken care of by your physician. You can get your eyes checked. They have a kidney specialist who comes in. You can get your dental done, and they are really steppin’ it up when it comes to mental health.”

Johnson pointed out Blacks sometimes have problems with mental health, along with high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions.

“It was there before the pandemic, but the pandemic brought out how many problems we have and how our mental stability is really on edge. What we aim to do is bring it to the forefront and let everybody see what we as a Black community need.”

Johnson said Hamilton was glad the Flint Area Chapter of the Links, Incorporated came to them.

“To me, Hamilton is a diamond in the rough. We need to know the services are there. We don’t have to run to Grand Blanc.”

Johnson pointed out Hamilton Community Health Network has clinics located throughout the city. According to Hamilton’s website at https://hamiltonchn.org/locations/?gad_source=1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwMqvBhCtARIsAIXsZpY24wKGxDS5HfpmgLaMLijigvfQzqVaY8ZB8_5aydtlb4_Hrh0hSfkaAr8XEALw_wcB, there are eight Hamilton Community Health Network locations.  Five are located in the city of Flint.

Area residents who attend the health fair will have the opportunity to reenroll in Medicaid, if needed.

“A lot of our folks are on Medicaid. During the pandemic, you didn’t have to reapply. Now they need to. A lot of us are finding that we don’t have any healthcare anymore. Molina, HAP and Meridian will be there. If you don’t have healthcare -let’s get you reinstated and get everything right so you’ll be healthy.”

The following organizations will be onsite to participate in the wellness expo: Molina Health Care, HAP CareSource, Meridian, Mott Children’s Health Center, The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, The State Bank, Flint Police Department and Mott Community College Department of Public Safety.

New and expecting mothers can find out more about the Rx Kids program at the expo. Rx Kids is the first-ever citywide cash prescription program for pregnant moms and babies. Mothers with infants born in 2024 and expectant mothers that live in the city of Flint are eligible.

Johnson spoke on the importance of having voter registration at the event.

“You need to know that you need to vote because the people in charge that you vote or don’t vote for determine what services will come to your community. We seem to forget they determine who is going to get Medicaid or if you are going to get Medicaid. They determine if you’re going to have Well Babies. It’s really important who you sit in those seats.”

The Black Family Wellness Expo is being held at Hamilton’s main clinic, located at 2900 N. Saginaw St., in Flint.

 

 

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