CHWs Engage Chicago Community at Fiesta del Sol Festival
Yudy Galvan and Lizette Martinez
Alivio Medical Center
Evoking the energy and warmth of the sun, the Fiesta del Sol festival in Chicago has grown from a block party into the largest Latino festival in the Midwest. Fiesta del Sol began in 1972 as a celebration to commemorate Pilsen Neighbors Community Council’s (PNCC) PNCC’s role in securing the city’s commitment to building Benito Juarez Leadership Academy. Today, Fiesta del Sol continues to reflect the organization’s desire for social transformation.
Recognizing the burden of chronic health diseases in Latino communities, Alivio Medical Center’s Mi Salud es Primero Diabetes Program organizes the Keeping Healthy Campaign with Fiesta del Sol every year. The Keeping Healthy Campaign encourages healthy lifestyles, good eating and exercise habits, stress reduction, healthy cooking, weight control, and high blood pressure and diabetes prevention and control. CHWs from Alivio Medical Center led the community outreach efforts over the three-day festival. The CHWs are the ideal ambassad ors for health, drawing in thousands of visitors with their enthusiasm and helpful nature.
This year, more than 2,689 people (2141 adults and 548 children) visited the Health Booth, receiving information on healthy eating and healthy weight, and prevention of overweight, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, hypertension, and diabetes. Visitors also received information about the programs and services that were available at neighborhood health clinics.
The CHWs conducted 812 screenings for weight, blood pressure, and diabetes for 356 participants. These screenings helped identify 28 people that were pre-diabetic and 19 people that did not have their diabetes under control. People that were identified to be at risk of overweight, obesity, hypertension and diabetes were offered the option to help get a medical appointment for a more thorough assessment and receive appropriate treatment if needed.
Alivio Medical Center’s outreach and education programming at Fiesta del Sol always offers a great opportunity to meet people in the community and engage them in open discussions about the health of themselves and their families. We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s festival!