A Health and Wellness Fair for the Spanish-speaking community was recently held at Great Neck House. Paz Menjivar, RN, Great Neck member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) and a bilingual community activist, spearheaded the event by collaborating with various agencies to provide information for attendees in English, Spanish and Chinese.
With the support of Daniel Suarez, MA, RN, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), as well as his wife, Vivienne Torres-Suarez, president of the Manhattan NAHN chapter, Menjivar rallied together volunteers including Javier Morales, MD, internal medicine in Great Neck; Merces Assumpcao-Morales, MD, internal medicine at Winthrop Hospital; Maria Pena, MD, endocrinology from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Paul S. Berg, MD, gastroenterology from Woodbury Medical Group, North Shore-LIJ; Edna Khodadadian, MD, gastroenterology; Tai-Ping Lee, MD, gastroenterology and hepatology, North Shore-LIJ Health System; Mary Ann Bilotti, DPM, from Long Island Foot and Ankle Group; Simon Cheirif, DDS, from Dental For Kids Only (DAFKO) in Roslyn Heights; and insurance companies including Fidelis Care and Health First.
Susanne Marcus, ESL teacher from Great Neck North High School and an inspiration to Menjivar and the community, came to support this event. A clown, Araceli Ladino, voluntarily provided entertainment for the children and children’s physical education was provided by Cynthia Simins, PT.
Paul S. Berg, MD, AA Oficina Intergrupal de Nassau County, Waldbaum’s of Great Neck, Toskana Pizzeria in Great Neck, Antonino’s of Great Neck, Gino’s Pizza of Great Neck and Salvadorean Deli in Port Washington graciously donated food to this event.
To ensure the success of this event, North High School alumnus Areli Aquino volunteered her time along with Casey Yu Poon and Zachary Han, students of Great Neck North High School.
Other organizations that prepared educational topics included North Shore-LIJ Trauma and Accident Prevention, Tabaco Community Outreach teams, RN Kathleen Dunckley, John Lundgren II from Massage Envy, Alcoholicos Anonimos Intergrupo de Nassau, Neuroticos Anonimos, Planned Parenthood, COPAY Inc. and Ruth Trujillo-Petrew, LCSW, Family, Couple, Adult and Children Counseling Services.
Menjivar’s coworker nurses prepared presentations on health-education topics, such as cardiac disease and stroke prevention, renal disease, diabetes education, nutritional education, asthma education, colon, breast, skin and testicular cancer awareness, eye diseases, child safety, obesity and bullying prevention. Menjivar’s children, Mark and Giselle Rodrigues, supported their mother’s efforts by helping to make the health fair a reality.
Dawn Diaz, a former NYC fire department captain, author and CEO of Milagros Day Worldwide, gave an inspiring keynote address in English and Spanish, encouraging the audience to “Dare to Dream and Dare to Act”.
Menjivar extends special thanks to Regina Luna, medical assistant at North Shore-LIJ (NSLIJ) Medical Group, who provided free books to the children who attended the fair; Carmen Calles, preschool teacher, for volunteering her time; Ruby Azra, RN and NP student of Stony Brook University; Diane Hendriks, LPN; Tsae Tiaug Su, RN, diabetic educator; Gina Cuneo, NAHN Manhattan Chapter; Ana Hernandez, nursing student from Queensborough Community College; Andres Zaldivar, Neuroticos Anonimos; Matilde Melendez, AA; Flora Dominguez, NSLIJ Smoking Cessation; Claudia Ramos, NSLIJ Accident and Trauma Prevention; Angie, a medical assistant from Long Island Foot and Ankle Group; as well as to North Shore nurses Merlita Naval, Patricia Magnotta, Marni Rubin, Williana Lopez, Judith Lopez, Lauren Di Gigiogia, Katherine Dunckley, NSLIJ Accident and Trauma Prevention; Patricia Folan, NSLIJ Smoking Cesation Education; Joan Bush, NSLIJ Child Safety Education; and Pei Yu Liu, who graciously volunteered their time at this community event.
Menjivar is also grateful to the Great Neck Park District and Great Neck House for their wonderful support.
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses is committed to advocating the health in Hispanic communities and to lead, promote and advocate the educational, professional and leadership opportunities for Hispanic nurses.