PROSPECT PARK, NJ - The first Health Fair was held on Saturday afternoon in the gymnasium of Prospect Park Elementary School on Brown Avenue.  Inside, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., local and area doctors and medical organizations volunteered to be a part of the borough's first health exhibition for the public.  A number of activities and services were available, from consultative, to hands-on, including CPR demonstrations, while private and public organizations were on hand with information available to those interested.  Additional support for the fair came from TUCANES, a Costa Rican restaurant in Prospect Park.

Council President Anand Shah spoke with TAPinto Hawthorne.  "This is the first time the borough and Board of Health have had a health fair in our town.  It's a great turn out and we have so many vendors from so many different places.  We've got blood pressure monitoring, glucose monitoring, sugar, weight, height, health is very important.  We're looking forward to doing bigger things in the future.  Thanks to the Board of Health, our Borough Administrator, and our municipal team for putting all this together.  Team work is dream work, it's all collaborative work.  We have over twenty vendors here, doctors are on site, trying to give back to their community."  Shah was proud of the volunteering spirit.  "This comes at no loss to the tax payers, everything has been provided on sponsorships and through volunteers, to make sure everyone is welcome and has access and best services possible."

"Early screenings and health assessments can allow members of the community to detect early disease or risk factors for disease in large numbers of apparently healthy individuals," Khairullah said.  "Our first ever health fair thanks to Prospect Park Board of Health in partnership with Mobile Community Health doctors offer preventive healthcare measures that offer an opportunity to improve healthy lifestyle choices. I thank all of the volunteers, vendors, sponsors and staff that helped put this together."

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Mayor Mohamed Khairullah read out a proclamation recognizing the occasion and the physicians as well as medical volunteers.  Doctors gratefully recognized were the following:

  • Dr. Daniel Huq, MD
  • Dr. Abubakr Alfaouri, MD
  • Dr. Suhel Ahmed, MD
  • Dr. Ehad Ibrahim, MD
  • Dr. Abrahim Ali, MD
  • Dr. Mannan Razzak, MD
  • Dr. Sonaa Bdiiwi, MD
  • Dr. Jihad Alharash, MD
  • Dr. Fouad Rasheed, MD
  • Dr. Muntasir Khaled, DPM
  • Dr. Wilson Maldonado, DDS
  • Dr. Maria Ambrosio, DDS
  • Dr. Housam Kayali, PharmD
  • Dr. Waddah Azzawi, PharmD

Medical entities, civic organizations, non-governmental organizations, and services in attendance were:

  • Advance Medical Group
  • The New Caring of Prospect Park Medical Daycare
  • Mobile Community Health
  • Commission for the Blind
  • Paramus Medical and Sports Rehabilitation Center
  • Prospect Park Municipal Alliance
  • Wellcare
  • One Love CPR
  • Future Pediatric Group
  • Dawa Pharmacy
  • Wayne Foot and Ankle Center
  • Passaic County Board of Social Services
  • Syrian American Medical Society
  • Passaic County Home Energy and Weatherization
  • Always Caring
  • Mental Health Clinic of Passaic
  • Medicare/Medicaid Options
  • Passaic County Women's Center
  • DoTerra Essential Oils
  • New Hope Community Ministries
  • Valley Dental Arts
  • Affinity Radiology
  • Wafa House
  • Gleason Wellness and Rehab Center
  • St. Joseph's Medical
  • The Best One Tae Kwon Do Center

"SAMS was founded by a group of Syrian physicians wanting to give back to the communities we are part of," Rima Peret, a volunteer with the Syrian American Medical Society told TAPinto Hawthorne.  "After the Syrian war broke out, they wanted to find a way to give back and support all these refugees that are now coming out of Syria.  So, throughout the years, they have developed global relief systems, hospitals, and mobile clinics that are run by SAMS in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, and we have a global response unit that provides emergency medical relief services all over the world.  When there were hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, we had teams of physicians that volunteered to go.  We are founded by Syrian-American doctors but have members from all around the world and all different nationalities, religions, cultures.  Anyone who wants to help make a difference in the world and provide humanitarian services, we're happy to work with."

The Board of Health was represented by President MaryAnn Cakl, Nurse Lissette Nieto-Makino, Administrative Assistant Beauty Nadim, and Board of Health Clerk Stefany Estrada who set up a booth near the entrance of the school gymnasium.

"A lot of credit to the Board of Health, they did a fantastic job," Borough Administrator Intashan Chowdhury said.  "They took charge and took initiative to put this together in partnership with Mobile Community Health.  And the benefit to the community goes beyond health, we're networking, we're building connections with these doctors to promote health and preventative care to a higher degree.  We are trying to do this each year to showcase a wellness campaign.  It's been beneficial for the community.  This is definitely a good start.  We've got over a dozen doctors coming here, free of charge, to help the community.  Quite a few are from Prospect Park, it's to showcase to people that they have options."

Alex Smith contributed photos to this report.

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