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Free flu shots draw a crowd at Glendale Health Fair

Health fair targets city's Armenian Americans with a variety of services.

November 04, 2013|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
  • Star Kids Dental's Brittany Acebal, center, offers stickers to children at the Glendale Health Festival at the Civic Auditorium in Glendale on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
Star Kids Dental's Brittany Acebal, center, offers… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

The fourth annual Glendale Health Fair packed the Glendale Civic Auditorium on Saturday, as more than 1,000 attendees came to take advantage of free health services.

Throughout the auditorium, free screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, dental and vision drew attendees. But the longest line by far was for free flu shots.

Fred Dray, while waiting for his flu shot, said that he was going to have his cholesterol level checked and more, because without health insurance, this was his best opportunity.

“It's a wonderful event for someone like me,” he said. “That's what makes living in Glendale so great, people actually care and volunteer their time.”

The health fair, held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., was put on by
the Armenian American Medical Society in conjunction with Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Glendale Healthy Kids.

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Dr. Manuel Momjian, vice-president of the Armenian American Medical Society, said the event, in its fourth year, had drawn its most attendees ever.

“It's much more than we expected,” he said. “I think the new venue helps.”

The event was previously held in the Glendale Pacific Auditorium.

Momjian said advertising on local ethnic television and radio had helped raise awareness of the event.

Dr. Shahe Pashayan, manning a table for diabetes screening, said that the event had been successful in raising awareness in non-English speakers — a priority in Glendale, where diabetes is a major problem in non-English-speaking households, according to the Glendale Healthier Community Coalition.

“So far, all our patients have been Armenian,” he said. “[The fair] has been popular, it's been well organized.”

In addition to the health screenings and doctor consultations on offer, the fair also featured representatives of coveredca.com, the health insurance exchange marketplace created by the state to help people obtain coverage required by the Affordable Care Act.

State Sen. Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), whose office helped coordinate the event, said her office got involved to try and keep her constituents healthy.

“Preventative healthcare is the biggest issue here,” she said.

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Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

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