Roger Hall, President of Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, has long described his mission in a few words.
“The quality of health care should reflect the quality of the community,” would be an accurate paraphrasing of that mission, Hall has said, in various forms over the years.
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf along with a host of partners will put that concept on display next month when it hosts the “Forgotten Coast Community Health & Wellness Fair.”
The event will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET Saturday at the Centennial Building in Port St. Joe.
As stated in the flyers for the event: “Save the Date.”
And, sure, participants of this free event will have the opportunity to have a schedule of health checks, including blood pressure, cholesterol, anemia and glucose screening.
Want to update one’s knowledge of hands-only CPR with an AED or learn more about mammograms and their role in healthy living, Sacred Heart will provide that also.
But, to broaden the scope, the health and wellness fair will also include a host of community partners and plenty of education about the services they provide locally.
“What we are really looking to do is understand how we can help this community and how to integrate health care into the community,” said Robin Godwin, vice president of nursing at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf.
“We are in an underserved area. This is about access to health care and bringing health care partners to the table.”
So, joining SHH on the Gulf will be the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County and information pertaining to its services ranging from car seat safety checks to tobacco cessation to health education.
PanCare Health, which operates the health clinic on the health department facility at both ends of the county, will also be on hand.
Dermatology Specialists will offer dermatology screening and Retina Specialty Institute will provide retinal screening.
But not all is medical in the strict sense of the word, fitting the category of wellness.
Feeding Florida will offer food distribution; Goodwill Career Campus will provide insight into job training and workforce education opportunities.
The Gulf County Sexual Assault Program and Life Management Center will provide information on their services.
Staff from Doorways of Northwest Florida will offer housing assistance.
“What does this community need and how do we meet those needs,” Godwin said was a significant aspect of the mission behind the fair. “We want to pull together all the partners. We want to make sure the bar is set high.
“And we want to make sure the community is aware of these resources and to make connections.”
One intention for the health and wellness fair is the creation of a sustainable event, one the community will annually mark on the calendar.
“This is something we want to do every year,” Godwin said.