By Tracy Shevlin
On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, West Gate Elementary hosted a Health Fair for students and their families to promote healthy lifestyles and connect families with health services in the local community. In total, there were approximately 15 exhibitors including representatives from the Women Infant Children program (WIC), Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS), Anthem Health Keepers Plus, and the Greater Prince William Community Health Center.
The fair was attended by over 250 people and featured health, dental and mental healthcare providers as well as other community service organizations. Those who attended received free vision, hearing and blood pressure screenings. They also watched Zumba demonstrations, collected healthy goody bags and were able to take what they needed from a clothing drive. In addition, 10 lucky raffle winners received bicycles.
Among the care providers, Dr. Sheetal Ray, a dentist with the Greater Prince William Community Health Center (GPWCHC), performed dental exams on approximately 70 students as well as some younger siblings and parents. As she examined them, she talked to them about how nutrition and oral hygiene impact their oral health.
According to Ray, many parents that she spoke with had questions about how to receive healthcare or dental treatment without insurance. She was able to refer them to the GPWCHC which provides as variety of care to both insured and uninsured patients at locations across the greater Prince William County area. They are located in Manassas, on Liberia above Gold’s Gym, Woodbridge, at the Ridgewood Center near the McCoart Government Center and a have a new location coming to Dumfries.
The clinic offers families access to behavioral health providers, obstetricians and gynecologists, primary care and dentists. Some families may qualify for a sliding scale fee schedule, an affordable payment model for low income families.
Resource links from this event can be found at
- Greater Prince William Community Health Center: gpwhealthcenter.org/
- Prince William County Government –WIC program: pwcgov.org/government/dept/vce/Pages/Nutrition-Education-Program.aspx
- Northern Virginia Family Services: nvfs.org/
- Anthem Health Keepers Plus: anthem.com/wps/portal/ahpagent?content_path=agent/va/f3/s1/t0/pw_m008962.htm&state=va&label=Anthem+HealthKeepers
- SkyZone: skyzone.com/manassas/
- Manassas Park Community Center: manassasparkcommunitycenter.com/
Tracy Shevlin (email@example.com) is a native Virginian and long-time Manassas area resident. She is a graduate of George Mason University where she is also an Office Manager. Follow her on twitter @nvalady1.