Merced County Times Newspaper
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Back-to-School Health Fair gets kids ready to go


As a way to help Merced families prepare for the upcoming school year, and combat the ever-increasing cost of living, Dignity Health partnered the Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) and the Central California Alliance for Health (CCAH), to create a massive school supply giveaway and health fair last Saturday at Mercy’s Family Care Clinic in south Merced.

Hundreds of happy youngsters — and parents — were treated to free backpacks and checkups, among many other things. Ultimately, they were able to give out 432 backpacks to local students.

Juan Velarde, the director of Dignity Health Clinic Operations and organizer of the event, said he wants to encourage people to stay healthy.

“Make sure you keep up with your hygiene and get regular checkups,” he said. “Most importantly, make sure you keep your kids up to date on their vaccines.”

Lillian Sanchez, director of Mission Integration at Dignity Health, wants to make sure that the community knows Dignity Health “is there for you and is open and ready to serve.”

“We have providers here to take care of you. If it is challenging for you to get out during the work week, we are here for you on Saturdays. Just give us a call and make an appointment. Know we are here and are another resource to have access to good, quality healthcare.”

She also informed the Times that this year is particularly special, because Mercy Medical Center will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary, and the County Hospital will be celebrating its 150-year anniversary.

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