Volunteers from the South-Central Region of Sri Sathya Sai International Organization (SSSIO) partnered with St. Mark’s United Methodist Church to host a free medical screening camp on June 11, 2022, for residents of the Baton Rouge community in Louisiana.  The medical camp was the result of talks with the church during prior visits by the SSSIO team when they had provided disaster relief services to the hurricane-devastated community. The church welcomed the idea of a free medical screening camp in a community that had little access to health resources. Planning for the camp started several weeks prior to the actual event, and involved surveying the church facility, coordinating medical providers, finalizing a layout, and publicizing the camp.

Approximately 30 SSSIO volunteers traveled from Houston, Austin, and Dallas, TX, as well as Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA on the day before. Volunteers prepared dental hygiene kits to be distributed to attendees, arranged gift items for raffles, and set-up the layout for health screenings. Over 100 food bags were also prepared to give out to the medical camp guests.

The camp was held the next day on June 11, 2022, between 8 AM and 12 PM. Volunteers assisted in registering guests, assessing their medical needs and ushering the participants through various health stations. Health screening services provided included blood pressure checkup, glucose testing, dental check-up and vision screening, and a free medical consultation Additionally, 12 partner organizations hosted booths where they disseminated valuable health-related information such as healthy nutrition.

A mobile blood drive was also held. The Life Blood Donation Center was able to collect 18 units of blood with the potential of saving 54 lives. The coordinator expressed his deepest appreciation as there was a dire need for blood in the community, and the blood drive had exceeded their expectations of how much blood they could collect.

Over 50 guests were served through this project. This was the first health screening fair organized by the SSSIO in the state of Louisiana. Discussions are now underway to arrange additional medical camps in the Baton Rouge area within the coming months.