By Abbey Snow
Photos by Samuel Snow
Veterans and their spouses steadily poured into the Sun City Mesquite Pioneer Center Saturday morning for the annual Veterans Health Fair to receive a variety of health screenings, services, and information.
An opening ceremony kicked the event off with raising of the flags while Victoria Howland and Jenny Roberts sung the National Anthem. After which, the newly appointed Grand Marshall for the Veteran’s Day Parade, Robert Barquist, thanked everyone for attending.
Inside the center were various booths set up for the attendants. Director of Business Development and Community Relations at Mesa View Regional Hospital Robert Fuller was at the information booth. He said Mesa View was providing free flu shots and blood pressure checks. They also were pulling fasting glucose blood draws and lipid panels to check cholesterol levels.
“This health fair began over 10 years ago,” Fuller said. “It started out in the hospital and a lot of people became involved to where it became so big we couldn’t hold the event there anymore. There wasn’t an opportunity in the area at the time for veterans to get basic screening and health information. Sue Conley was the CEO of the hospital at that time and wanted to give this a try, and it grew from there.”
Lifestyle Director at Sun City Deborah Demos said they offered to hold the Veterans Health Fair at their facilities for the past few years when they found out they needed a larger location.
“We know that there are a lot of veterans that live in Mesquite,” Demos said. “And we have the space here to accompany this event and give back to the community. This is a great event and it offers different services and amenities to our veterans.”
Fuller said they want to make sure veterans have proper access to healthcare. A few years ago, a program called the Patient-Centered Community Care program was put in place. This allows physicians outside the VA Hospital that are here in Mesquite to provide specific types of care for eligible veterans, so they don’t have to travel to Las Vegas.
Captain Jayson Andrus, Zeb Jensen and Kennedy Alexander with Mesquite Fire and Rescue were available to check blood pressure and provide glucose monitoring.
Mesquite Veterans Center President Jim Lynch sat at a booth with information on the local center and fundraising. The center is located at 840 Hafen Lane and was established to serve veterans and their families. To stay operating they must hold fundraisers, said Lynch.
“We are selling bricks for the Veterans Memorial Park monument,” Lynch said. “There is a golden statue of an eagle with bricks surrounding it. People can dedicate the bricks for themselves or a family member and have what they want inscribed into the brick.”
There was a steady flow of people during the entire event, and Fuller said this year turned out successful.
For information on the Veterans Health Fair, contact Doris Baeza at firstname.lastname@example.org.