Solano health fair provides critical screenings and wellness services

Oct 26, 2022   |  By Emily Montgomery

Dozens of people gathered last week for a health fair in Solano County, California. The fair was hosted by the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and provided CEO participants and other formerly incarcerated individuals in the local community with access to free health screenings, wellness information, and food.

Maura Torkildson, a Pathway to Employment (P2E) instructor and job coach for CEO in Solano, was a primary organizer of the event. She said she had noticed that many participants she worked with had underlying health issues, especially Type 2 diabetes. She wanted to help them access both preventive and primary care.

At a community fair for homeless individuals held earlier this year, Maura met Deanna Dickey, who runs a mobile diabetes unit through Touro University in Vallejo. Deanna helped Maura and the rest of the CEO Solano team plan and organize this fair.

“My goal was to give participants access to all of these resources, so that they get some critical health care information and know where to go for different health services,” Maura said.

Participants of the fair had a variety of booths to visit. In addition to Touro University’s Mobile Diabetes Education Unit, there were representatives from Drug Safe Solano, which provides Narcan education and training, a COVID-19 education and vaccine team, and representatives of the new Connex Solano Mental Health App, among other housing, food, and health vendors.

Attendees to the fair were rewarded with a taco meal if they visited all of the available booths, and they also had the opportunity to participate in a raffle for a Chromebook, wireless speakers, CEO jackets and other items.

Maura was pleased with the success of the fair and thinks it’s likely they will plan another for the future.

“At the bottom line, it's always always about service to our participants,” she said.