Capitol Drugs / Power Zone offered free flu shots, free shakes, free pizza, free underwear and so much more this past weekend for their WeHo Sample Saturday & Health Fair, which took place on October 26, on Santa Monica Boulevard.
The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce partnered with Cedars Sinai and the City of West Hollywood to welcome members of the community to sample products, learn about services, get free goodies, and take advantage of items at a discounted rate, as well as get expert advice from health, fitness and nutrition specialist.
Fresh Brothers Pizza, located across the street from Capitol Drugs, returned with free pizza samples for everyone. They even allowed you to make more than one round if you asked nicely.
Jonathan Diersing, the founder of Rounderbum Underwear, had a small stand offering free underwear. From padded, to lifts, to tummy-tucking underwear, Rounderbum undergarments feature new technologies that enhance the male and female physique.
But for many attendees, the best part of the event is the free shakes, which were provided by ISOPURE.
Project Angel Food was one of the many tables lined up on Santa Monica Boulevard offering information on their services.
“We’ve been around for 30 years now, so I’m sure a lot of people know about us,” Vivian Kanchian, Community Relations at Project Angel Food, told WEHO TIMES. “We’re here to continue our mission of providing love and food for people that are critically ill with home delivered meals that are 100 percent free and will always. There are familiar faces out today as well as new ones that don’t know about our services, so we’re excited to giving out applications. We’re giving out information about how the meals work. How we deliver them and what types of different conditions qualify for the meals. We love being here. We love being part of the community and continuing on Marianne Williamson’s original reason for starting this organization.”
Cedars Sinai returned for its third year in a row with their interactive tables that aim to engage the community and teach them about safety and health. The medical center offered free flu shots, information on preventable diseases like meningitis and hepatitis, transgender surgery and health education, stop the bleed education, hands only CPR, and there was an interactive demonstration on the dangers of drinking and driving under the influence of mind altering substances.
“The health fair is great,” said Brett Dodd, the trauma education, injury prevention and outreach coordinator at Cedars Sanai. “We love coming out to the community. No matter what, Cedars is going to help prevent injury. We’ve done pedestrian safety out here before. We’ve measured the sugar the sugar in soft drinks. And we’ve done prevention on drinking and driving.”
“This year, we’re doing stop the bleed,” he added. “We’re teaching people how to stop bleeding. Bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death after an injury. We’re highlighting the importance of putting direct pressure in a wound and we teach them how to pack a wound using something as a t-shirt that you have on, but we also teach you how to do with gauze. We’re showing people how to put a tourniquet on and apply that as a first line measure. We offer free classes at Cedars. In our classes we also offer first Aid Kits. We don’t promote anything other than people getting educated for free and coming to our classes. This is a nation wide program. It’s actually international. There’s been over a million people taught. Cedars has done about 10,000 people. We get a good response.”
Dodd also did a demonstration on the dangers of drinking and driving.
“This is an interactive booth about the dangers of drinking and driving, so we actually have people walk a line straight,” he said. “We have them put on goggles and they simulate different levels of intoxication. Then we show them why it’s dangerous. You put the goggles on and you see that there is concentration and you make slower decisions.”
AltaMed was back with its mobile clinic that was there to provide free HIV testing and free medical related advice.
“We’re happy to participate. I think bringing all this education and services to the community is amazing—especially in West Hollywood where there is great diversity,” Alma De Jesus, the linkage to health coordinator at AltaMed, said about Sample Saturday & Health fair. “We’re basically here to provide HIV testing. We’re also providing information about PrEP and we help with linkage into care. We work with different agencies, so we’re able to connect people to HIV services or prevention services such as PrEP. We’ve seen 8 people so far at our van, which is pretty good.”
Pacific Oaks Medical also returned to engage the community and offer free vouchers for a free medical exam.
“We typically treat people from the LGBT community, but we obviously treat everyone,” said Jack O’Brian, one of the physicians at Pacific Oaks, who specializes in family medicine. “I’ve done other health fairs like in medical school and residency, but nothing like this. It’s fun. There’s a lot of people. We’re asking people if they have a doctor. It’s especially important to us, if they are sexually active, are they on PrEP, and are they being tested frequently. Our practice does a lot of research in HIV medicine. We’re thankful people are out here and being active in the community.”
New to the neighborhood is Parsley Health, which recently opened at 8650 Santa Monica Boulevard, a few doors down from Capitol Drugs. Parsley Health is the only primary care medical practice with a whole-body approach, combining nutrition, lifestyle, and cutting-edge medical testing.
“We’re really excited to be here,” said office manager at Parsley Health, Daniel Peredez. “Before, we were in Playa Vista. We were operating there since 2016. We had the opportunity to come to West Hollywood and we really love the neighborhood and we love that this health fair is engaging community and building that eco system of health with organizations and stores that align with people’s wellbeing and giving them the tools to live healthier and happier lives. For us, it’s really exciting. It’s a great opportunity.”
The new Sprouts Farmers Market also opened this year and participated at WeHo Sample Saturday & Health Fair for the first time. The neighborhood grocery store that specializes in thousands of natural, organic and gluten-free foods along with fresh produce, meats, vitamins, supplements and more, will be a welcome addition to the sidewalk Sample Saturday & Health Fair.
Other organizations new to the WeHo Sample Saturday & Health Fair included: The American Lung Association; F45 Sunset Strip, which will offered advice on a mix of circuit and HIIT style workouts geared towards everyday movement; New Pristine Insurance helped Medicare patients choose the best plan to meet their needs.
Returning participants include PAWS LA, Being Alive, APLA, County of Los Angeles Public Health, The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, The City Of West Hollywood, Mens Health Foundation, to name a few, as well as local business like My 12 Step Store, Just Food for Dogs and so much more.
Sample Saturday & Health Fair will return in the spring of 2020.
Photos by Paulo Murillo