At this event there were over 45 vendors and over 300 participants. Some of the vendors included
Sacred Heart Hospital, Scenic Health Alliance, the American Cancer Society, Pensacola State College, University of West Florida and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Jannie Hixon, who is a registered nurse and the Health Coordinator over at Deliverance Tabernacle, organized the event to help not just her church members, but to also the let the community knows that the church cares about people.
Pensacola Voice: How long have you been having this event?
Ms. Hixon: This is our sixth annual year having the event and it happens on the first Saturday of Every
Pensacola Voice: What is the reason you decided to have this event?
Ms. Hixon: We have a rather large congregation at church with a lot of young people who are not
insured. We also have people that are insured, but don’t go to the doctor unless something is wrong.
I started talking to Bishop Charles Young about helping the people in the church and the community with health issues. We see people always getting in prayer lines at church for health issues all the time,
but God gives us wisdom and it’s important that we as a community learn how to take better care
of ourselves. The Bible says that people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. One area that many people in church don’t use wisdom is in the area of their health. So, I started talking to Bishop Young about having health fairs so we could get information to the community and our church. It’s really about gaining knowledge about the foods we eat and things we drink.
Most people would rather eat fried foods and drink sodas, but God gave us beautiful vegetable and fruits to eat and help our bodies. If we ate more of that, we would be in much better shape.
At the health fair we also teach mothers how to stop becoming short order cooks for their families and help them learn how to create a balanced meal. I didn’t grow up eating healthy, but because I’m a nurse I had to learn how to eat healthy and then I teach my children how to eat. Now we all love eating healthy. If you cook a well-balanced meal and encourage your child to eat at least one teaspoon of the vegetables, they will grow up to love them. The more you encourage them to eat healthy, the healthier they become. Eating healthy and exercise can change life expectancy. We would live a lot longer if we took better care of ourselves.
Pensacola Voice: What kinds of events did you have at the health fair?
Ms. Hixon: We had 45 different vendors; the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department came and set up horses for the children to ride on. We had Sacred Heart doing cholesterol check and also blood test for anemia. We also had the mammogram station set up. We had Walgreen’s there passing out information. It was a really exciting event.
Pensacola Voice: Were other churches involved?
Ms. Hixon: Well no. I work with several churches in the community and help them set up their own personal health fair and we work with each other and share information, but most churches want to have their own Health Fair.
Pensacola Voice: Why is that?
Ms. Hixon: I think it’s the opportunity to reach more people. We have ours in June, but not everyone can come to that one so many of the other churches have theirs at various times of the year so that more people can be reached.
Pensacola Voice: What are you plans for next year’s event?
Ms. Hixon: I’m seeking funding for next year’s event. I would like to see it become bigger and we really
need help to do that.