Special Photo ---- Andrea Brown is heading up the Victorious Life Church Health Fair on July 13 at the church in Conyers.
CONYERS -- Victorious Life Church of Conyers will host its first health fair next weekend and organizers said they hope it will help community residents take charge of their health and wellness through screenings and information, all provided free of charge.
"Hopefully it will encourage people to eat better, exercise and just do healthy things to improve their health," VLC member Andrea Brown said. "That's what this is all about. We're not just focusing on the church itself, but the surrounding community so they can be empowered."
The health fair will be July 13, from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. at the church located at 1615 Old McDonough Highway in Conyers.
Health professionals and health-related vendors will be on site to talk to participants on a range of topics, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, nutrition, fitness, beauty, home health care, behavioral health, social services and spiritual counseling, to name a few.
Free screenings will be offered for a number of conditions, including blood pressure, blood sugar, dental, vision, weight, allergies and many others.
VLC decided to host a health fair after one of its members, Brown, a nurse practitioner took the idea to Pastor Larry Gunter and explained how it would be an important service to the community and an outreach for the church.
"We are so excited," Brown said. "We know there is a need for a health fair -- not only for the fair itself, but to do different activities and to reach out to the community to empower them to take care of themselves ... I saw the need for blood pressure checks and knew that we could do something in the church. There was nothing available, so that's how the idea came about to do this as a church-wide thing."
Brown, who has been a VLC member for seven years, said helping people has always been "a main push" for what she does in life.
"It's where my heart lies," she added. "I've been a nurse for many years. I finished nursing school in 1988, and I was a bedside nurse until 2003, when I started doing advanced courses. I became a nurse practitioner. That nurturing piece of what I am has not left me. People mean so much to me, so I'm really here to help as much as I can."
Brown has led the way in planning and preparing for the upcoming health fair, which is open to men, women and kids of all ages. Information will be available on everything from the needs of children to services available for senior citizens. After the screenings, those requiring treatment will be given information and referrals for care and follow-up services.
"We'll have lots of information," Brown said. "We'll have someone from the fitness club coming by to demonstrate (exercises), a chiropractor, a physical therapist -- quite a range of people will be there. We want to make this something that will really empower people to do better."
There is no fee for the health fair or the screenings and no fees for the vendors who are participating, Brown said.
"I see this as a service and part of what we should be doing as the body of Christ to touch people in a way to make sure your body is healthy and you are able to serve," she said. "We're hoping this is going to be the beginning of something greater. We want to do seminars and workshops in the future."
In addition to helping health fair participants with their physical needs and questions, the VLC Health Fair will also offer spiritual counseling for those who are interested.
"We want it to be where people who just want to be free in talking about the burdens of life or the things of life will be able to talk to a spiritual counselor there," Brown said. "We'll have a counselor who can help people who have experienced traumas."
Brown said the health fair will also help people who have questions about certain conditions they might be experiencing.
"We're hoping people will come who have health conditions they are curious about," she said. "It will be a good place for those who have not been to the doctor to see what's going on with their bodies."
Along with free screenings and information, the health fair will also have food giveaways as part of the day's events.