By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – The Heart Institute of East Texas and Boston Scientific are pairing up to present a community health fair free of charge to residents of Crockett and the surrounding area Friday, May 11 at the Crockett Civic Center.

“The health fair is going to be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” explained Sharon Ford, Director of Marketing for the Heart Institute. “We’ve got about 40 vendors that are going to be participating.”

According to Ford, EKGs, cholesterol and glucose checks, BMI checks, vein and vascular checks, dental, vision and hearing screenings will be offered during the event.

Speeches will be presented by several doctors of the Heart Institute on various topics related to heart health.

A cooking demonstration will be provided by CHI St. Luke’s Health. Presentations will also be made by Davy Crockett Drug, Crockett EMS and American Red Cross.

“We’re very excited to bring this program to Houston County,” Ford said. “This is something very special, because we’ve got all of these services.”

According to Ford, Friday’s health fair has been preceded by a number of smaller events.

“It was a grant that we received, and it started out being where we reached out to all the businesses,” Ford explained. “We had a great turnout, and Dr. (Satish) Velagapudi actually spoke.”

Also held was a special event for teachers which took place at Crockett ISD.

“We had about 150 teachers that we were able to help educate, and Dr. (Ravinder) Bachireddy spoke at that,” Ford explained.

Rounding out the events was a pastors’ breakfast, Ford said.

“We had about five of the major churches in town that came, but we did invite quite a bit,” she explained. “They were really excited about what this whole program was about.”

“Basically, our mission is to empower, educate, screen, identify and close the gap on healthcare disparity in the under-treated patient population,” explained Valencia Powell, Principal Sales Manager of Boston Scientific’s Close the Gap.

Powell explained that the organization partners with hospitals and physicians to provide information to communities and the healthcare providers who serve them.

“Overall, our true goal is that we try to meet patient populations where they are instead of having them come to us,” Powell said. “We want to go to them and educate them on heart awareness, peripheral arterial disease – any of those things that we know are chronic diseases.”

Powell expressed excitement about the partnership between her organization and the Heart Institute.

“Sharon and Dr. Bachireddy and the other physicians have done a fantastic job going out into the community and educating,” Powell said.

For more information on the health fair, contact Ford at 936-366-8195.

The Crockett Civic Center is located at 1100 Edmiston Dr. in Crockett