Detroit offering free screenings, preventative care options during public health week

DETROIT (FOX 2) - The way the Detroit Health Department sees it, National Public Health Week is so important that it could save someone's life.

Rico Jackson agrees. He took the opportunity to get screened at the health department on Monday, knowing as he ages, he'll need to be aware of his health as his body changes.

"This day and age for me, I’m turning 50, so I am taking on some physical things and I’m making sure that I take care those physical things that I got going on," he said.

It's not easy work. But it's a challenge he's willing to tackle and the health department will be there every step of the way, Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair Razo said.

"Public health works when we move beyond the walls of the health department," she said.

Public health week isn't just an awareness campaign. Services are being offered around the city that includes screenings for vision, hearing, and blood pressure, as well as HIV testing and narcan test kits.

The Northwest Activities Center, St. Patrick Senior Center, and the health office on Mack Avenue are all offering services, free of charge. No appointment or ID is needed, as well.

Preventative care is key to keeping people healthy and catching small issues before they get big. But according to Fair, minority groups don't always take advantage of the offers.

"One of the things that we don’t talk about in the community is that a lot of folks don’t go to their primary care provider because their doctor doesn’t look like them. But if you come to the Detroit Health Department, we are reflective of the community," Razo said. "This is a safe place."

Fire safety presentations and hands-only CPR training are also offered through the Detroit Fire Department.

"With learning CPR, that’s something you take with you," said Lt. William Terrell with the Detroit Fire Department. "And you can actually affect someone’s life as well as your own."