Keeping Portales healthy

By Eric Norwood Jr.

PNT staff writer

enorwood@pntonline.com

The community of Portales was present and accounted for at the La Casa Health Fair on Saturday.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune Emely Stubbs, left and Buffie Saavedra, right, operate the UnitedHealthcare booth Saturday at La Casa Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare helped sponsor the event and Stubbs and Saavedra spent the day talking to residents and passing out free items.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Emely Stubbs, left and Buffie Saavedra, right, operate the UnitedHealthcare booth Saturday at La Casa Family Health Center. UnitedHealthcare helped sponsor the event and Stubbs and Saavedra spent the day talking to residents and passing out free items.

“This event is a takeoff for National Health Center Week, which kicks off on Monday,” said Seferino Montano, chief executive officer of La Casa Family Health Center.

Family and health were the themes of the event, which had many activities and booths that gave important health information and let the children have some fun. Also provided for free were well child exams, sports physicals, and immunizations.

“Anyone that walks in, whether they have insurance or not, will be seen,” said Montano.

Parents were able to get their children free check-ups in time for school as well as physicals for the student-athletes. Carolina Holguin, a local mother, brought her children to get a well child exam.

“La Casa is offering a free well child check, so I registered my daughter. And she got a free gift card,” said Holguin.

The Girls Scouts were present, looking for new recruits for their troop.

“Today we are just spreading the word about Girl Scouts in the Portales area,” said Tera Wong-Williams, youth development specialist for the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails.

Options Home Care, a home care service company, had a booth set up also.

“We normally go to the Clovis health fair for La Casa, but we were invited down to Portales this year. We do service and employ a lot of people for Portales so we thought it would be a good opportunity to come on down,” said Jo Berry, office manager for Options.

Cannon Air Force Base brought a mobile fire safety house and Sparky the fire dog, who could be seen casually dancing to music.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune Yasmin Garcia, 8, of Portales with Sparky the firehouse dog. Sparky came to the La Casa Health Fair Saturday with the Cannon Air Force Base mobile fire safety house.

Eric Norwood Jr.: Portales News-Tribune
Yasmin Garcia, 8, of Portales with Sparky the firehouse dog. Sparky came to the La Casa Health Fair Saturday with the Cannon Air Force Base mobile fire safety house.

There were games and prizes, with a ticket raffle for bicycles and other items for children. There was also a bounce house, face painting, ring toss, and the highlight, a dunk tank.

La Casa will be offering free lab screenings from Aug. 12-16. Cholesterol, blood sugar, and multiple other tests will be provided free of charge from 8 a.m. until noon, at the La Casa locations in Portales, Roswell, Hondo, Melrose, and Clovis.

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