Last Wednesday, May 27th, our Norwalk and Stamford staff hosted the first-ever Health & Wellness Fair at the Day Street clinic for families in the community. The event had representation from all disciplines – Behavioral Health, Medical, Dental, Nutrition and Access to Care. When families arrived, they were greeted warmly by Amy Taylor and Dr. Armah at our information table, where they received information about our comprehensive primary care services and CHC innovations such as the patient portal. They enjoyed a light, healthy dinner of wraps, veggies & hummus, and fruit selected by our dietician, Safia Hussein.
In the medical waiting room, Katie Carhart, the on-site behavioral health director for lower Fairfield County, ran a station centered on coping skills for children. Children colored pictures and blew bubbles while Katie explained what stress is and how to cope with feeling stressed or overwhelmed in everyday life. She also gave children “coping kits” containing a fun puzzle, notebook, bubbles and stress balls. At the same time, adults were coloring mandalas at a nearby table and learning about the therapeutic effects of coloring as a stress relief technique. Other behavioral health stations at the event included a yoga and mindfulness activity run by Anna Hickner and an adult psychoeducation booth for stress, sleep and coping led by Katherine Taveras. Attendees also had the opportunity to speak with an Access to Care representative to enroll as a new CHC patient and get information about health insurance.
In the medical exam rooms, attendees could get their blood pressure checked by RN Lucy Golding or receive education about diabetes from RN Myrna Velasquez. In addition, Chelsea Boska, who runs the smoking cessation behavioral health group in Norwalk, had an interactive station with lung models to demonstrate the health risks of smoking and strategies to quit. Finally, our nutritionist Safia Hussein provided information about healthy foods and a balanced plate and dental hygienist Mary Ann Llinas made toothprints and did fun oral hygiene education with kids attending the fair.
All of the 25 families who attended the fair seemed to have a great time eating, learning new wellness strategies and touring our facility! Two lucky individuals even won some great raffle prizes donated by local organizations – a package of 4 tickets to the Maritime Aquarium in South Norwalk and a Stop N’ Shop gift card. It was a great night providing outreach to families in the community, and sharing information about the amazing services that we have to offer. A huge thank you to Katie Carhart for providing leadership surrounding this behavioral health initiative and all of the staff from different disciplines who volunteered their time and energy to making this event a success!