Mansfield School District officials plan a Health Fair for students, staff and the community, said Superintendent Robert Ross.
Ross said the Friday event at the high school will be the first of what district officials hope to be an annual event. The Health Fair is intended to promote and raise awareness within the community of the school-based Mansfield Wellness Center slated to open in August.
Last week, Tracy Sadoski, Mansfield School District coordinated school health director, said 36 vendors, including those who will serve as health care providers at the new clinic, had agreed to set up booths at the fair, and she’s hopeful several more may come.
Mansfield students will visit the booths and exhibits from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, then the event will be open to the public from 3-6 p.m., Ross said.
Sadoski said health screens will be provided, a blood drive is planned, and representatives of the Arkansas Department of Human Services will be there to help people enroll in DHS programs such as WIC, the Woman Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program, and SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that also aids with nutrition education, employment and training.
As are Lavaca and Magazine’s school-based wellness centers, Mansfield’s will be open to community residents as well as to students and staff, Ross said. Like Lavaca’s, the Mansfield center will offer dental, vision, mental health and physical health care, he said.
According to a news release from Lavaca School District, now marking its second anniversary, the Lavaca Wellness Center experienced more than 6,600 patient visits in 2012, almost 26 percent of which were by students.
Mansfield received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create the school-based clinic, Sadoski has said. It will be located in a to-be-renovated building on corner of Walnut and Center streets on the Mansfield Elementary School campus.
Sadoski said Mansfield School District will provide information about the coming clinic at the Health Fair.
Sadoski said Mercy Clinic Fort Smith will provide medical care at the clinic and will be at the Health Fair.
Also present will be mental health care provider Vista Health, eye doctor Adam Schluterman and dentist Cody Friddle, all to be providers at the Wellness Center, Sadoski said.