More than 200 people received free blood pressure screenings at a Community Health Fair held by One Brooklyn Health (OBH) on Friday, August 18th, at the Pierre Toussaint Health Clinic (Kingsbrook Medical Center), at 1110 Eastern Parkway.
The Pierre Toussaint Clinic was created to serve underprivileged communities. The site, which has been located at Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway for 10 years, was fully renovated three years ago. The rebuilt office is open six days a week and focuses on primary care, health prevention, acute health care and subspecialty care. According to Dr. Kurt Kodroff, chief quality officer at OBH, the most important aspect of healthcare is access. This is why the facility is open so many days and at different times. There is a large range of services available for the community, which faces three major health issues: hypertension, diabetes and cancer prevention. Much of what is done at OBH involves health screenings to identify and prevent major acute medical problems in their patients.
Dr. Colina Chung, a resident and a PGY3 at OBH, grew up in the area and has made it her mission to return to the health organization where she was a patient as a child. She felt it was important to serve her community in this manner, especially now as a single mother. When asked about health advice that people in the community should be attentive to, she provided several health tips. The area where OBH is located is primarily a West Indian community. Dr. Chung advised that residents should watch their sugar intake with fruits like grapes and watermelon. Also, they should understand that they are no longer in the Caribbean, and the New York lifestyle and diet are not the same as life on the Islands; our life here tends to be more sedentary. She also encourages African-American and Caribbean men to get their prostate checked to prevent prostate cancer. Many men in the community do not get colon cancer screenings due to misinformation and lack of proper health education, and they should. She encourages these men to speak to their doctors and get screened for these preventable diseases as soon as possible.
In addition to the free blood pressure screenings, there were health coaches on-site from “The Diabetes Self-Management Program.” The six-week, two-and-a-half-hour program helps people manage their nutrition and customize their eating habits to prevent diabetes. Participants receive a free MetroCard for each session, free healthy snacks and a certificate at the end of the program. The course is in partnership with “Health People,” a Community Preventative Health Institute. For more information, email email@example.com or visit onebrooklynhealth.org.