SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is holding the first of three scheduled back to school health fairs this week at the Santa Maria Health Care Center on Tuesday.
The “Back to School Health Fair” is taking place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will provide community members with an opportunity to receive free information on how to stay healthy, conduct free health screenings (i.e., blood pressure and sports physicals), and offer free or low-cost COVID and Mpox immunizations.
The fairs are open for anyone, including families and individuals who are without insurance. According to the county, staff will be on-site to link families to medical insurance and other resources that they may be eligible for, which they can then follow up with a provider in their community.
"As the Public Health Department, we want to improve the health of our county by preventing disease, ensuring access to needed health care, and promoting wellness and health equity," said Santa Barbara County said Public Health Director Mouhanad Hammami. "Our health fairs intend to help the families in Santa Barbara County by raising awareness of health risks, demonstrating healthy habits, and promoting available resources that families can access,” said Public Health Director Mouhanad Hammami.
The health fairs will feature several Public Health Department partners, who will provide information on their services and resources, including CenCal, Cottage Health, Family Service Agency, First 5, Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO), Mixteco Indigena Project (MICOP), Santa Barbara County Behavior Wellness, Santa Barbara County Promotores Network, and many more.
Resources and services will be provided in both English and Spanish. The events will also feature food trucks, a variety of prizes (including gift cards, backpacks, bike helmets, etc.), and a presentation of speeches from our local elected officials and leaders.
In addition to the Santa Maria location, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will hold similar events at the Santa Barbara Health Care Center on Wednesday and Lompoc Health Care Center on Thursday.
The Santa Barbara health fair will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., while the Lompoc event is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The county health fairs are taking place during National Health Center Week, which is held annually to recognize and increase awareness of the 1,400 Community Health Centers (CHCs) that are located in the United States.