2010 San Fernando Health and Safety Fair

For several years now I’ve done photography and video coverage for the San Fernando Health and Safety Fair.  This year was the 20th anniversary of the fair and everyone was excited to see Father Virgilio Elizondo, the founding inspiration for the fair.  I try to get some shots of every service provided and once I get the basics covered I take advantage of the opportunity to get some “people” shots and do a little experimenting with lenses and other techniques.  I did a little work on some of them using Lightroom presets and Topaz “Adjust” with interesting results:

Known as an institution that has cared for the spirits and souls of San Antonians for many years, San Fernando Cathedral will celebrate a 25th year tradition of also caring for the body with its Eighteenth Annual Health & Safety Fair. The Fair is held yearly on the 1st Saturday in October from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the grounds of San Fernando Cathedral. Services are provided free of charge.

In April, 2006, the SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL selected the San Fernando Health & Safety Fair Committee as one of their Health Care Heroes for Community Outreach. We are indeed very proud of this recognition.

The primary objectives of the Fair are: (1) Provide a “safe harbor” setting for medically underserved with personalized health screenings, education, and referral services by specialized health professionals; (2) Provide follow up services for participants with abnormal/high risk screening results; and (3) Link children, elderly, the working poor, and others with language, cultural, financial or eligibility barriers to service with a wide-range of health care and education providers.

Over 50 physicians and dentists, approximately 350 health care professionals, plus more than 150 community workers, all volunteers from San Antonio join together at this event to offer a variety of free screenings, including cholesterol, blood pressure, vision, dental, podiatry, dermatology, prostate, and diabetes. Consultations and health information are also offered, as well as mammograms on site and mammogram vouchers, self-breast exams and diabetes education.

Based on the screenings offered at the Health Fair, health professionals are able to evaluate the individuals and provide them with information for follow-up care. Because all of the screenings are offered free of charge, the San Fernando Health Fair provides help to those who otherwise would go untreated. Follow-up care is now being provided through the Cathedral’s Health Care Clinic Facility located at the AT&T San Fernando Community Centre.

The setting for the San Fernando Health Fair is ingeniously creative, using a mix of indoor and outdoor facilities across both church and public grounds. This makes for a unique setting that overcomes space constraints and results in over 3,500 screenings, examinations and consultations annually.

In addition to providing the specialist examinations, physicians staff the service called “Doctors in Booth.” It is here that participants receive individual, personal consultations with doctors to review screening results or ask lingering questions they have been too embarrassed, afraid or unable to ask.

Founded by Father Virgilio Elizondo, the San Fernando Health & Safety Fair reaches out to the residents in and around San Antonio and lends a helping hand. The event is free and open to the public. Here is a link to the video I filmed, edited and produced for the event… and here is a link to the gallery of photos from this year and years past.

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