Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Garden City Church Hosts Community Health Fair

The outreach focus at Garden City Presbyterian Church is on community. Last month, the church raised $1500 for the Garden City Fire Department's program to provide residents with free smoke detectors through its Annual Strawberry Festival. In July, the emphasis will be on community health needs.

The church plans to address this need with a Community Health Fair, being held Thursday, July 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free, with the cost of providing healthcare workers being handled by the church's ruling council, Synod of the Covenant. The synod provides roughly 40 mobile health fairs throughout Michigan and northern Ohio. Additional expenses will be handled by the church and the Presbyterian Women Group. The free health fair is part of the church's medical missions work.

The event is open to everyone, not only residents of Garden City. Church member, Mary Deykes, who is organizing the event, says anyone who shows up is welcome. "Everybody needs health care," Deykes explains, "and a lot of times you have people that don't want to go to a doctor, but they need to know why things are happening with their health." Deykes relates her own experience with diabetes. She knew something was not right with her health but didn't understand the seriousness of the symptoms she was experiencing until she saw a doctor at an urgent care facility.

The Community Health Fair will be offering blood pressure checks, blood sugar tests, HIV tests, along with hearing, visual and dental exams. Additional health testing is being planned and a complete list of health tests can be obtained by contacting the church. In addition, the church is arranging for local health providers to have information tables on hand. Information will be available on nutrition, healthy weight, and chiropractic health, to name a few. Testing is available to children also, mainly height and weight checks and vision, hearing and dental checks. No immunizations will be given, however.

Attendees can receive only the tests they feel are necessary, and an exit interview is included, which will be conducted by a licensed doctor. The exit interview will review test results and provide follow-up recommendations for each participant. Garden City Presbyterian's Pastor, Ruthanne Herrington adds, "People don't like to talk about the health issue because it can be scary, so having some information actually helps to empower us and things are not quite as scary."

To round out the event and make it truly a family day, food and drinks will be provided, along with a Bounce House and craft tables for kids and adults. The activities will provide children something to do while parents are either receiving a health test or consulting with the doctor.

Church leaders were prompted to do a community health event in light of the fact that frequently people must resort to using a hospital emergency room to receive health care. The high cost of insurance co-pays and deductibles for routine wellness checks can be unaffordable for many. "We've become more aware in recent years of the people in this area that are financially struggling," says Pastor Herrington. "Almost half of the kids who attend Garden City schools are on free or reduces lunches. So to come in at this time when we know that there is this demonstrated need in this community is really important to us."

Garden City Presbyterian Church is located at 1841 Middlebelt Road, south of Ford Road. For further information on the Community Health Fair contact the church at or call 734-421-7620.


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