Hundreds of Hemet residents found the annual Hemet Valley Community Health Fair a welcome opportunity to get recommended flu shots, make friendly free visits with doctors and nurses and enjoy cake and hot dogs.
The event was sponsored by Hemet Community Medical Group and Home Instead Senior Care and was open to all the community, Saturday, Oct. 21, filling the large covered tent with nearly 1,000 people. Just outside were booths set up for families to learn about AirMedCare, a new emergency flight service, the Hemet Police Department and Fire Department operations and other community services. Children enjoyed demonstrations from the Western Science Center’s robotic team, video games in the Atomic Game Truck and Discovery Center, balloon creations and sweet treats from different community organizations.
Inside the big tent across from the Hemet Valley Medical Center on Devonshire Avenue, tables were lined up with doctors and nurses ready to give adults free flu shots, testing for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, hearing, balance and gait, back screenings, nutritional assessments and even a carotid artery test.
Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center offered information about their services, which are available to breast cancer patients. Hemet City Corporation Yard gave away free trash cans. Residents learned about health insurance services now open for enrollment, senior volunteer programs, home health care, the Hemet Community Medical Group, the Riverside Transit System’s new routes, the Black Infant Health program, detoxification services and many other services available in and around the Valley.
Hemet Valley Medical Center CEO Dan McLaughlin welcomed the visitors to the special event.
“Take care of your health. We need to take better job as Americans,” McLaughlin said. “We need to do a better of job as Hemet and San Jacinto residents. Step up and be responsible. We have one journey through this life. We want it to be as a long and with as much quality as it can be.”
He introduced San Jacinto Mayor Scott Miller, who presented a “Certificate of Recognition” from the San Jacinto City Council to Dr. Kali Chaudhuri and the Physicians for Healthy Hospitals in appreciation for putting on the annual Community Health Fair and for the work the hospital is doing for the Valley.
“This hospital is growing up,” Chaudhuri said. He pointed out that people have been going out of the Valley to meet their health care needs, but the Hemet Medical Center in Hemet and Menifee are adding new facilities to meet their medical needs, including a stroke center and medical center that provides more interns to the centers.
“We are going to make this Valley known for good health care,” he said.
Lori Van Arsdale, former mayor of Hemet, was introduced to the residents as the new community advisory member of PHH. She invited patients to the hospital to let her know how the hospital can better serve them.
“They can’t fix it, if they don’t know,” she said. Van Arsdale will be an adviser to the PHH board to help improve hospital services to the community.
“We have a hospital that cares for you,” she said.
After the Community Health Fair, those attending saw the cake cut and served in celebration of PHH’s seventh year of hospital operation. Hots dogs, soft drinks and potato chips were offered in a free lunch.