Annual Health Fair & Teddy Bear Clinic Fosters Health Awareness Locally
St. Catherine of Siena Hospital held its Annual Health Fair at its campus in Smithtown on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Community members were offered free flu vaccinations, health screenings/information and had the unique opportunity to discover how robotic surgery is manipulated with hands on demonstrations.
New York State Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick, Legislators Leslie Kennedy and Robert Trotta, attended the community event to show their support. Legislator Kennedy took the time to get her flu vaccination, encouraging Long Islanders to take the same initiative to reduce flu risk, associated illnesses and hospitalizations this season. St. Catherine of Siena’s Director of Employee Health and Infection Prevention Bonnie Morales shared, “It is very important to take every measure to protect yourself against the flu—especially pregnant women, young children and older adults.”
In addition to the free screenings and vaccinations, the hospital offered a free teddy bear clinic. Booths were staffed with friendly clinicians ready to help educate young generations about health care and aimed at reducing anxiety for children when visiting the doctor. St. Catherine’s nursing teams provided certificates for all the children who took their favorite bears in for their checkups, and for children who did not have a teddy bear—free bears were provided. In addition, Hunter EMS was onsite with an ambulance for the entirety of the health fair, where animated and experienced EMS personnel provided tours of the vehicle and educated youth about the importance of EMS personnel in their community.
St. Catherine’s Health Fair had over 70 booths staffed with clinicians providing information about various diseases and health topics, including substance abuse and suicide prevention resources. The annual fair was a success and is organized by the Community Outreach Program. It is the hospital’s most prominent health event that draws hundreds of community members. The health fair supports the hospital’s aim to address priority health needs as identified by New York State and outlined in the hospital’s Community Service Plan.