This article has been corrected to include the correct date of the Latino Health Fair.
The Latino Health Council (LHC) will host both the 21st annual Latino Health Fair and Latino Chronic Disease Community Conference on Oct. 19 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison.
“We have two big events. This is actually the biggest event that we have during the year,” said Latino Health Council Chair Patricia Tellez-Giron M.D.
The fair which began over two decades ago is the only event of its kind in Wisconsin, according to the LHC. In addition, the Latino Chronic Disease Community Conference draws around 150 participants to learn more about cardiovascular disease, nutrition, exercise, stress release, and understanding the U.S. healthcare system.
“We usually offer Zumba as an introduction to how you can exercise, and the zumba instructor actually offers classes at Centro Hispano if they want to continue,” Tellez-Giron said.
Tellez-Giron described the Latino Chronic Disease Summit as a free full day conference including a morning workshop, main presentation, afternoon workshop and activities. This year she will give the main presentation. Tellez-Giron would like to focus on how to navigate the healthcare system, who to call, how to maximize insurance and what resources are available for people who don’t have insurance.
“We have many, many health issues that are important in the Latinx community,” she said.
The Council on Latino Health, born out of the The Southern District of the American Cancer Society’s Cultural Diversity Committee in 1996, addressed specific cancer and health-related issues facing the Latino community, however, evolved over the years. Tellez-Giron said the organization is both completely grassroots and run by volunteers. Now known as the Latino Health Council, the organization helps Latinos throughout Dane County connect to resources.
“We have about 60 partner organizations within the Latino Health Council,” Tellez-Giron said.
She said organizations such as Planned Parenthood and AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) are partner organizations of the LHC and have also sponsored the event. The annual fair offers attendees access to numerous community services including various health screenings such as hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, and HIV.
“After they go to do testing, they can talk to a doctor about their test,” Tellez-Giron said.
She described this fair as a triage appointment for attendees to ensure they’re in good health. People who pursue the screenings will have the opportunity to ask a doctor questions about their results.
This is something the LHC incorporates into the programming every year. Tellez-Giron said the organization tries to make sure the same services are available to attendees.
“Everyone should have a check at least once a year so if you don’t have health care, the health fair is the only place where you and come and do that,” she said.