LifeSpring celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with health fair

Sep. 18—CLARKSVILLE — LifeSpring Health Systems on Saturday is having its sixth Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Community Health Fair.

The celebration will be at Parkwood Elementary School, 748 Spicewood Dr., Clarksville, on Saturday Sep. 23 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. It will be free and open to the public.

At the celebration, there will be games, health screenings, free food and shaved ice, vision screenings, kids' bike raffles, free haircuts and more.

Attendees will need to register at the event to get a ticket for lunch, a door prize and shaved ice. The data will go to the Minority Health Initiative to show the state how many people come to the event and will help LifeSpring get money from the state to have the event.

After noticing a growth in the Hispanic population in Clarksville six years ago, LifeSpring saw an opportunity to make its resources better known in the growing Hispanic community.

"They just didn't have the resources," said Malinda Mackenzie, LifeSpring's community outreach coordinator. "A lot of them didn't know where to go to the doctor. The language barrier was so prevalent."

To help with this problem, they set up a pop-up fair as a spur-of-the-moment thing. At the first celebration, a little over 70 families came to celebrate. Since then, LifeSpring has been able to grow the event and even more people come to get health screenings and have fun.

Interpreters will be at the event to break the language barrier that some may have so that all can get the resources they need. This year, there will be two Hispanic churches that will help with interpretations.

"Our whole reason for this is to get them (attendees) walking around and finding out what resources are available to them," Mackenzie said. "Maybe they need a job, we've got people there that can help them get a job... When they stick around, they spend time talking to these vendors and getting the resources they need."

Not only is this event to help people in the Clarksville community, it is also to spread awareness and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

The month is from Sept. 15-Oct 15 this year and celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

"Clarksville has a huge Hispanic community," Mackenzie said. "I am blown away at how much that community has grown in the six years."