Community Health Fair held in Fishersville

FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV) – Augusta Health’s Faith Community Nursing program held its first-ever Community Health Fair on Saturday at Bridge Christain Church in Fishersville. The event aimed to connect the Augusta County community to its health resources.

“Our goal for this particular event was to try to provide as many community resources to the folks in our area that they may not be aware of or new people that have moved to our area that might not know exactly what they have available to them,” said Holly Karicofe, a faith community nurse.

The Community Health Fair included informational tables from 30 organizations ranging from health and medical practices to first responders and social service organizations.

“This is really important that we get back to some type of work where we are able to get together to provide the services necessary that a lot of folks may not have been connected with during COVID,” said Gayle Shultz who handles community outreach and partnerships for Augusta Health.

Augusta Health said these types of events and connections are very important post-COVID because the health landscape has changed.

“New needs have arisen since COVID. Things that may not have been a health problem for you before or hadn’t been a barrier to access to care for you before, COVID just created new problems for people,” said Stefanie Bartley, case manager for Augusta Health’s Every Woman’s Life program.

“I think there are a lot of resources that have been generated out of COVID and resources that have been available but when you don’t need that resource you don’t seek it. So, this helps people understand what is available to them,” she added.

People who came out to the fair were able to form relationships and make important connections for their health needs.

“We specialize in musculoskeletal conditions, so we’ve met people today who have trouble walking. We have met patients who are interested in improving their day-to-day function, their day-to-day ability to chase after their kids, and other day-to-day activities. It’s just an awesome opportunity,” said Adam Swartz, practice manager at Synergy Rehab & Wellness.

Different health organizations were also able to connect with one another to collaborate and provide more help to those in need.

“I’m developing relationships and collaborations with other partners that I wasn’t aware of that will be great resources as I connect with women in the community to be able to connect them to things that are outside of my program but now, I know they are available to them,” said Stefanie Bartley.

Faith Community Nursing said the feedback from those who attended the event was very positive and the hope is to make the health fair an annual event.