Monday, September 13, 2010

12th Annual LBT Rainbow Health Fair a great success

Ingrid Berkhout (left) and the LBT Rainbow Health Fair Team
This was the second year that the YWCA Women's Health Outreach (WHO) organized the LBT Rainbow Health Fair providing culturally competent health services to the LBT community.  We had 18 wonderful peer providers donate their services.  We were pleased that more people attended this year than last and heard about our event through word of mouth!  Friends bringing friends is a great reflection of trust for us as one such attendee mentioned through our anonymous survey.

    Thank you so much for providing such a valuable service to the community. This health fair is one of my favorite events at Pride. I came for the first time with a friend last year and, once I was here, I never wanted to leave! This year I told all my friends about it and encouraged them to attend as well. The quality and comprehensiveness of services provided is far above any other health fair that I have attended. Perhaps most surprising to me is that the women recognized me from attending last year. Thank you! Thank you for making me feel so wonderful and for creating a space where I can pursue health and healing in such a supportive and personal environment!

We intend to continue providing this outreach and education to the LBT community using this model as it has proven to be a winner.  Our morning started with coffee/tea and yummy cinnamon rolls graciously donated by Mae's Café.  We had a wonderful lunch including vegetarian options provided by Katie Zimmerman with Dykes with Knives.  During part of the day we enjoyed live music by Ronnda Cadle on her acoustic guitar.  We were well taken care of and enjoyed a wonderful day of education, visiting and feeling a part of a wonderful caring community.

We received a wonderfully supportive letter from a community member and I have included a small part which highlights many of the people that we see, the concerns they may have and what our purpose is.

    Thank you so much for doing this for our community.  For those of us that do not have insurance or do not believe in western medicine, this venue offers an easy way to get tested at a minimal of cost: your time. For me, considering I haven't had a physical, annual exam or even a blood test in 4 years, because I don't like the whole medical scene, I decided to take advantage of this fair and get checked out.

    I was determined to get the other stuff down as long as I was down here. I was feeling like I needed to take care of my body since everyone in the room was focused on healthy dykes!  Thank you so much, Ingrid and everyone that made this day a reality for me.

    Signed, just another lesbian out there that hates the medical system, cancer and not knowing what happens when – I trust I have helped someone by sharing my experience.

We thank all the peer providers that donated their time and energy!  We thank each of you that came to the 12th Annual LBT Rainbow Health Fair and hope to see you next year and encourage you (bring a friend).  We also thank Gilda's Club for providing such a warm and inviting location for us to hold this event.

To great health!

The Rainbow Health Fair Team

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