Photo courtesy of the ZSFG Wellness Program.

Summer Fest, a health and wellness fair, takes place tomorrow from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at San Francisco General Hospital (1001 Potrero Avenue). Hosted by the Community Wellness Program, there will be music, free health screenings, a farmers market, face painting for the kids, and more.

Este viernes 21 de junio, se realizará Summer Fest, una feria de salud, en el Hospital General de San Francisco (1001 Potrero Avenue) a las 11 de la mañana hasta la 2 de la tarde. Ofrecerán exámenes de salud, variedad de vegetales y frutas frescos, pintacaritas para los niños, y más — gratuitos para todos.

As the stress of city living continues to increase, an annual event geared toward benefiting underrepresented community members is becoming increasingly important.

For the last eight years, the free San Francisco General Hospital health and wellness fair, known as Summer Fest, has aimed to bridge the gap between the community and services.

It will take place at 1001 Potrero Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, June 21, continuing a tradition that heavily relies on volunteers.

Everyone is welcome, not just patients of the hospital.

“When people feel engaged and connected to their community, their health improves and they’re more likely to continue healthy behaviors,” said Sofia Newton, program manager of the hospital’s community wellness program.

Photo courtesy of ZSFG Wellness Program.

The cafeteria will be transformed to feature a variety of health screenings — blood pressure, glucose and body mass index analyses — for community members as well as hospital staff.

Several vendors will participate, including the American Cancer Society, the Department of Public Health’s Feeling Good Project and Pride Parade Committee, Sojourn Chaplain, San Francisco State University’s School of Nursing and more.

“We’re really trying to focus more on health network vendors because we want to showcase all the opportunities that people have here [in the hospital and the city],” she said.

To entertain the younger generations, the family-friendly fair will boast face painting, music and balloons, said Newton, as she excitedly gestured toward a helium tank in the corner of her office.

“One of our pediatricians also volunteered to do face painting,” she said. “We’re really trying to engage other departments.”

Photo courtesy of the ZSFG Wellness Program.

Many of the hospital’s patients, about 65 percent of them, experience food insecurity. Attendees will be able to take home free fresh fruits and vegetables, and the cafeteria’s patio will be converted into a farmers market.

Newton said she hopes to use the event to inspire more residents to consider the community wellness program in the future by taking advantage of the services and activities it offers.

“It’s more than just a health fair,” she said. “It’s education, access and fun.”

More than anything, she would like the community wellness program to feel accessible and to feel like home for the community because patients are often “low-income, feeling disenfranchised, disrespected by people in positions of authority, [and] they might not speak the language.”

“We really want to take care of them,” she continued, “and help them lead happier and healthier lives.”

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