HomeTRP NewsIndividual and community health the focus of TRP’s first annual Fathers Day Health Fair

Individual and community health the focus of TRP’s first annual Fathers Day Health Fair

by Ulises Silva
Published: September 4, 2012
Photos by Lyndsi Barboza

Healthy fathers are vital to healthy communities. This was the idea behind TRP’s first annual Fathers Day Health Fair on Saturday, June 17, 2012.

More than 100 residents came to the three-hour event, which featured information tables, health screenings, raffles, and other activities designed to educate local fathers and mothers about the importance of maintaining good health and healthy lifestyles—and the importance of being healthy, engaged fathers in Pilsen.
“Our goal,” said Luis Bermudez, Elev8 Manager for TRP, “was to highlight and appreciate our fathers. We do a lot for moms, but there should be more done for our fathers as well.”
The event was held inside the Harrison Park gymnasium, and attendees were eligible to enter raffles by visiting at least four information tables. TRP staff was on hand to educate local fathers on men’s health issues, including prostrate cancer, and on the importance of advance screenings and preventive measures. “Most men don’t know,” explained Bermudez, “that more men die from prostrate cancer than women die from breast cancer.”
“This event emphasized the need for preventive care,” said Araceli Lucio, TRP Health Advocate. “We wanted to make local fathers aware of the importance of detecting illnesses like prostrate cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes early. These are all treatable illnesses if they are caught early, and we can refer men to local hospitals and clinics.”
Just as important is the health of the family, which is why TRP also offered education on domestic violence and the adverse effects it can have on a family. Mothers and fathers were educated on victims’ rights, as well as on the correlation between violence at home and youth participation in gang violence. Bermudez believes that fathers are instrumental in addressing these problems by helping to create healthy family environments.
“To address violence in our neighborhood,” said Bermudez, “we need more than just the police and our moms to get involved. We need more involvement from the fathers in our community. It’s young men who are involved in the shootings in our neighborhood. Our fathers need to be out there to engage their sons and be positive role models for them.”
Which is why TRP plans to make the Fathers Day Health Fair an annual event. Though more moms than dads showed up to the event, Bermudez is confident that the event will grow as more men realize the important role they must play in nurturing the health of the Pilsen community.
“Male role models need to be out there on the front line,” he said.