Volunteers from the SSSIO-USA Mid-Atlantic Region partnered with the public library in North Bergen, NJ to hold a free health fair on December 9 2023. About 69% of the local community is Hispanic, with 12% of the population living below the poverty level. Many individuals are undocumented, uninsured, and underserved.

Over 380 patients attended the fair and more than 20 social services agencies provided health-related education materials, information, and resources. The event included free meditation and yoga classes to help deal with stress and anxiety, along with information on acupuncture and smoking cessation. The nonprofit organization, Hoboken Family Planning, inaugurated a new state-of-the-art cancer screening and pregnancy-testing mobile van. Services offered include pap smears, mammograms, and HIV testing.

It was the second SSSIO health fair held in conjunction with the library, spearheaded by the library’s director, also a member of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Jersey City. The director emphasized that it was truly a collaborative effort as the event garnered support from the township, local hospitals and various social service agencies, with numerous SSSIO physicians and volunteers actively participating. She noted that the Mayor praised the commendable efforts of the SSSIO volunteers and their profound love for serving multiple communities. In addition, the town administrator thanked all the other organizations that participated, noting that their much-needed services filled a definite void.

About 10 physicians, including internists and neurologists provided one-on-one consultations. Several mental health therapists were also on hand. Staff from both the Hackensack and Palisades hospitals provided basic health screening services, carried out blood work, and took time to explain the results to patients. Also, uninsured individuals received information on federally-funded free clinics.

The Mid-Atlantic Region medical director, a cardiologist, conducted cardiac exams. Two SSSIO ophthalmologists were onsite, including a cornea and retina specialist. Many children were found to have reading difficulties. The volunteers gave out 131 free eyeglasses, of which 102 were for reading and 29 for distant vision problems.  The President of SSSIO-USA Mid-Atlantic Region remarked, “We took one step by starting the health fair. Our Lord took 100 steps towards us and brought us many valuable resources to expand the scope of our services and regularly serve the larger community.”

Sri Sathya Sai Baba has said that underserved populations should receive free medical services, since compassionate high-quality healthcare is everyone’s birthright. Over the past years, thousands of individuals lacking access to healthcare in the USA have received free healthcare services provided by SSSIO volunteers.