Unity Jam is about health, togetherness, fun

New summer event features free health resources, music, food and family fun

Norton Healthcare has joined with other community supporters to announce a new summer event called Unity Jam. This health-focused event will bring the community together to improve access to community services, especially for those in the 40211 and 40212 ZIP code areas.

Unity Jam will take place Saturday, Aug. 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West End School, 3628 Virginia Ave. It will feature various booths with health information, free health screenings and demonstrations. Entertainment and children’s activities will include music, dunking tank, houses, face painting, basketball and other games. Those who complete a scavenger hunt through all exhibits will get a backpack with school supplies.

The event is planned by Synergy, Norton Healthcare’s African American Employee Resource Group. Kirstie Crenshaw, MSBC, and Corenza Townsend, LPN, are the group’s co-chairs and the driving force behind holding a community event to increase awareness and promote a healthy lifestyle.

“Our group’s idea started with health because limited access to care is a big barrier for many people in our community, but it soon went far beyond that,” Crenshaw said. “Unity Jam is about building relationships and bringing people together to achieve mutual goals, but we knew it had to be fun!”

Employee resource groups were launched across Norton Healthcare’s system in 2014. Four groups currently exist — for African Americans, women, veterans and LGBTQ. These employee-driven groups, which are open to all employees, connect people with similar experiences around a call to action to drive change in our community.

A community needs assessment done by Norton Healthcare helped guide Synergy’s planning for Unity Jam. Information gathered showed that ZIP codes 40211 and 40212 have Jefferson County’s highest poverty rates. When residents in these areas were asked about barriers to getting health care, common answers were, “It costs too much,” “The doctor’s office hours aren’t convenient” and “I have trouble understanding insurance.”

This event is one step in breaking down these barriers and other factors that limit access to health care and various other key community resources. The Norton Healthcare Mobile Prevention Center, a van offering mammograms and wellness exams, will be at Unity Jam, along with other health screening providers.

Organizers invite all types of health and community groups to sign up for a booth at Unity Jam. Booths are available at no cost, but exhibitors are asked to provide useful handouts, take-away items or some form of interactive demonstration or activity.

Unity Jam is presented by Norton Healthcare in partnership with business owner and entrepreneur Darrell Griffith. Additional partners and those who want to have a booth at the event are encouraged to get involved.

For more information about Unity Jam, go to NortonHealthcare.com/unityjam.

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