By Dan Majka

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Health professionals from a variety of fields will be on hand on Saturday, October 18 at the Living Hope Fellowship on East Lycoming Street in North Philadelphia for a free health fair.

It’s called Healthy Palooza and it aims to care for the basic needs of life through increasing health awareness.

“It’s an experience, it’s an opportunity to learn more about how (you) can be healthier,” says Healthy Palooza Coordinator Kevin Dang. “In this day and age, health is one of most precious commodities that someone can have. To learn how to keep better health means a way to have a better quality of life.”

The event began three years ago as an outreach program by the Living Hope Fellowship and has since grown from there.

“Our church has a lot of health professionals working in it,” Dang says. “We have dentists, pharmacists, doctors, healthcare administrators, you name it, we’ve got it. As a church, we were maturing in spirituality and we decided that we have to put our faith into the community. By doing that — we thought because we have all of these talents, because we have all of these health professionals — we could put together a health fair.”

Healthy Palooza includes free health screenings, free material and demonstrations, free information and education. But, most importantly, Dang says, it provides free flu vaccinations.

“The goal here on paper is to make sure that everyone is getting a flu shot,” he says. “We’re working with the CDC of Philadelphia to get the flu shots in for them. We’re making sure that everyone is getting vaccinated.”

Dang says getting sick with the flu can be a huge economic burden, especially for low-income families throughout the city.

“They’re struggling already as it is,” he says. “If they do get the flu, it could mean food not getting on the table, it could mean rent not being paid. That tears a family apart, and we want to make sure that they’re going to be able to provide for their families.”

Dang says the event encompasses different aspects of health, including behavioral, nutritional and spiritual health.

“For a lot of people — they just believe that I don’t have any diseases. I’m physically fit, therefore I’m healthy,” he says. “That’s not always the case, because health is more complex than most people think. It revolves around spiritual well-being, it revolves around mental, intellectual, nutritional and physical well-being. And we’re providing a holistic approach to health this year.”

Children take advantage of some of the activities at Healthy Palooza 2012. (File photo, credit: KYW Kidcasts)

Children take advantage of some of the activities at Healthy Palooza 2012. (File photo, credit: KYW Kidcasts)

Among the many organizations taking part this year are several area schools, including the University of Sciences, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Drexel’s nutritional sciences program and Temple University’s pharmacy school. Dang says there will also be plenty of activities for children.

“It’s going to include bounce houses, carnival games, prizes for the children,” he says. “We’re making sure that the children are taking care of while the adults are learning about their health and doing what they can to improve it.”

Healthy Palooza is Saturday October 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Living Hope Fellowship, 931 E Lycoming Street in Philadelphia. For more information, visit their website.

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