By Jody Steinberg

Dental hygienist James Moten examines a young patient at the Hispanic Health Fair.

Atlanta-area health care professionals, interns and students volunteered at the Hispanic Health Fair at the North DeKalb Health Care Center in Brookhaven on Oct. 2.

After a morning rush, many of the dozens of volunteers stood idle as the day wore on and it became obvious that despite an expansion of the fair, attendance would not reach last year’s turnout of more than 400 clients.

As in past years, attendees had access to flu shots and screenings for heart disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, hypertension and professional experts on disease prevention, nutrition, family planning and immunizations. New services included dermatology, pap smears, breast exams, children’s health hearing, vision and dental screenings.

While parents worked their way through the many stations in the clinic, children read and played in a tent staffed by volunteers and learned how to pack healthy lunches from Emory Pediatric residents.

“Our goal is to increase healthy lifestyles for children,” explained Dr. Lynn Gardner, associate program director at Emory Pediatrics. “We’re teaching kids how to pack healthy lunches and how to play outdoors – old-fashioned games without toys.”

The third annual health fair was sponsored by Hispanic consulates and the Latin-American Association as well as Piedmont and Grady hospitals, Southside Medical Center, AID Atlanta and DeKalb Board of Health. Close to a dozen more organizations, including a behavioral and mental health program and a mobile clinic, were on hand to provide information and education.