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The CNC produces journalism on a variety of topics in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties for about a dozen media partners including newspapers, radio and television stations and magazines.

A free health fair in Arcadia emphasizes preventative care

Children surrounding a smiling clown
The health fair in Arcadia is meant for kids and adults.

The event on Saturday features screenings, music, food and more.

MCR Health is bringing a free health fair back to Arcadia this weekend.

The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Turner Agri-Civic Center, 2250 NE Roan St. MCR Health is a non-profit health care system that provides services throughout Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto and Pasco counties.

This will be the second year the group has hosted the fair in Arcadia, and MCR Director of Outreach and Community Affairs Esparanza Gamboa said she expects attendance to surpass last year’s of more than 500.

The Health Fair is an event that puts MCR’s mission into action, according to President and CEO Melvin Price.

“We want to be accessible to all communities, and again, our mission is to serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay and so that they get high-quality health care,” Price said. “We want the community to know we’re here, that we are a resource. We want to partner with anyone in the Arcadia community to help with both health awareness and being able to encompass holistic health care.”

Price said MCR chose to hold the event in Arcadia because of need. DeSoto County’s uninsured rate for those under the age of 65 is 24%, compared to a state rate of 15.1% and a national rate of 7.9%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sarasota County’s uninsured rate is 14.8%, and Manatee County’s is 16.5%.

Three women wearing yellow participating in a Zumba class
Zumba will be demonstrated as part of the health fair in Arcadia.

With a focus on preventive care and healthy living, the event will feature a range of free activities, including:

  • Such screenings as blood pressure, blood sugar, dental, vision, mammograms, COVID-19 vaccines, and BMI calculations
  • An interactive Zumba demonstration showcasing exercises and music
  • DJ JT Money, Renesito Avich, Jah Movement and the 301 Travelers will perform live
  • Local health and wellness organizations will have booths at the event, offering information about services, programs, and resources. Free bagged food and vegetables provided by All Faiths Food Bank, free snacks, refreshments provided by Tropicana, food trucks, free haircuts, and free backpacks will be available while supplies last
  • Fitness challenges for kids, alongside informative talks for parents

Price notes that while the event embodies fun elements, the main goal is to educate on preventative health care, saying such knowledge can reduce the cost and urgency of emergency services.
For information about the MCR Health Fair 2023, including event details and a schedule of activities, contact Gamboa, at 941-875-6844 or egamboa@mcr.health.

Sarah Owens writes about DeSoto County for the Community News Collaborative. Reach her at slowens@cncfl.org

Blood-sugar monitor on a phone
Community News Collaborative
Blood-sugar screenings are among those available for free at Saturday’s health fair in Arcadia.

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