A friendly team of health-care professionals conducted a free Health Screening at Friends and Family Day. Photo by Heidi Randhava

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Evanston First Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1825 Dodge Ave., and Amita Health-Saint Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave., held their annual Health Screening event at the Friends & Family Day-Jamaican Independence Celebration at James Park on Aug. 4.

A team of health care professionals helped participants assess their fitness and identify their risk for heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and more. Separate screening stations were set up to measure blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol and blood glucose level. A certified trainer was on hand to demonstrate proper form for exercises that build cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, such as jumping jacks, push-ups and squats.

“We want to work with the community to promote wellness in their lives,” said Pablo Castillo, Director of Operations at Amita Health-Saint Francis Hospital

The annual team effort began when Evanston First SDA Church Pastor James Atkins Jr. reached out to staff at Saint Francis Hospital to ask for help in setting up an annual Health Screening at the church picnic. This year the group collaborated further with the Evanston Cricket Club, which hosts the popular Friends and Family Day, where hundreds of people gather each year to celebrate Jamaica’s independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962.