The Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) wrapped up a week of celebrations for National Health Center Week with a Children’s Health Fair at Bohnett Park on August 18. “We had 34 families sign in,” said Dr. Charles Fenzi with the Eastside Neighborhood Clinic. Families were offered a number of services for the kids and fun activities for the whole family. The clinics delivered vaccines, including Tdap and HPV, for kids ages 10-17. Kids ages 12 and younger received dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications. Parents got goody bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and packets of information about the clinics’ services.
Assemblymember Monique Limón, Mayor Cathy Murillo, and District 3 Councilmember Oscar Gutierrez were among the attendees. Gutierrez was excited about the clinics’ outreach efforts. “I used to go to the neighborhood clinics,” he said. “They’re a really important asset to the community.” Now, he’s looking forward to collaborating with SBNC. “I gave out all my business cards,” said Gutierrez. “There are a lot of dedicated people already, and I’m hoping to help them.”
Santa Barbara primo boxer Francisco “Chia” Santana also attended the event. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, he grew up going to the neighborhood clinics, said Santana, who led the kids in a short boxing workshop and encouraged them to always try their best and never give up. Learning to stay healthy and engage in preventive care was a big topic at Saturday’s fair. “There are 5,000 people on the Westside that are living 200 percent below the poverty line and do not have primary care,” said Fenzi. “They’re probably not all sick, but there is no preventative care,” he said. “We want to make sure you’re not waiting until you have a heart attack.”