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East Arkansas Family Health Center holds week-long celebration

East Arkansas Family Health Center holds week-long celebration


East Arkansas Family Health Center holds week-long celebration

A half- century of working to improve public health

East Arkansas Family Health Center began celebrating National Health Center Week Monday.

Health related vendors lined the main hallway at the 7th Street location in West Memphis with booths filled with healthy food and information on nutrition and help for all sorts of medical concerns.

Health Centers turn 50 this year. Legislation paving the way for the creation of public health centers was passed in 1966, and East Arkansas Family Health is celebrating its own 42nd anniversary with the events this week.

EAFHC served a lot of people last year and looks to help more patients this year. Nationally, one person in every 13 utilized health center services last year in some way.

“Last year, we served 14,221 patients on 54,000 encounters, and each year, we see that number growing,” said Development Director Gloria Gilliam. “We want to bring greater public awareness to the services we provide. Even those that know about us don’t always know about our full scope of services.”

“We are trying to combine medical and dental services and put them all in one house,” said Terrence Aikens with the EAFHC.

“We are trying to bring these resources to people that otherwise would not have access.”

The same goes for the health center week with an expanded celebration this year. Community partners like Comcast will offer a special deal for Internet to households with school students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. An exhibit full of spiders will help people identify which ones are poisonous and what to do when bitten.

EAFHC impacts the area employing 160 employees.

The staff grew by almost 50 new jobs last year in the medical sector in the Arkansas delta.

The health center week started Monday morning as a St. Bernard’s Healthcare mammogram mobile stood in the front driveway. Free exams will be offered to women over 40 with no cancer history during the week long health fair. Saturday, a school supply drive and community health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will cap the week.

A slate full of special focus days fills the week.

Many services are free all week long according to EAFHC Development Director Gloria Gilliam.

The theme Monday and Tuesday centered on diabetic education, cancer awareness and women’s health. Heart health and HIV awareness are highlights set for Wednesday.

Men’s health and antismoking information are in the forefront on Thursday.

Friday brings appreciation for employees and administrators. A block party including snow cones, a train ride and bounce houses will thrill children during the school supply giveaway Saturday morning. Healthy living and exercise exhibits will dot the shaded grove in back of the Health Center.

Find East Arkansas Family health on Facebook, call (870) 735-3842 or visit for more information on the 2016 National Health Center Week activities or drop in at 900 North 7th Street in West Memphis.

By John Rech

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