Health care is self care!

Dr. Carla Fry, administrator and health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM to talk about outreach in the county.

Dr. Fry began her position with the Department of Health on February 17 and recently, the department held Haitian Flag Day events.

Dr. Fry said, “We are we’re trying to make sure that we don’t leave anybody out. We have a lot of Haitian clients, so it’s really important to us to make sure that not only we see them in the clinic, but we see them in the community and we make sure they know that we’re there for them. So Haitian Flag Day was May 17. It was a collaborative effort, not just the health department.”

Indeed, a number of other organizations joined in the celebration.

Dr. Fry said, “The whole point of that discussion was self care. As we talk about self care, we’re trying to drive home the message that self care includes health care, making sure that you’re getting your preventative treatment and that you’re not delaying those things.”

An interpreter was on-hand as well.

Dr. Fry said, “It was a great event and I’m so proud of our staff.”

The health department will definitely be out and about during Pride week in Key West.

Dr. Fry said, “We’re so proud of our community and all of the diversity that we have here. With that comes great responsibility, though, we need to make sure that we’re protecting our public.”

Monkey pox is still in the world.

Dr. Fry said, “We want to make sure that we don’t have a surge again this summer, like we had last summer. To avoid that we really need to get people vaccinated. We had a massive vaccination effort last summer. If there’s anybody out there that hasn’t gotten their vaccine, they can walk in this week, anytime, Tuesday through Friday, until five, but we’re going to be out on the 10th. The HIV team will be there as well as the nurses.”

The health department hands out free condoms, HIV testing and counseling if needed.

The monkey pox vaccines will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the health department.

Information about Stock Island has come out of a survey recently.

Dr. Fry said, “The Stock Island Community Health Survey is the culmination of well over a year’s worth of effort. We collected some 716 surveys from Stock Island residents. Those surveys told us some things that we probably already knew.”

Housing and transportation were top concerns from the survey.

Dr. Fry continued, “But the third thing on the list very important to us and near and dear to our hearts is health care. Affordable or free health care, accessible health care. So that Stock Island survey told us that we need to be out there. We need to spend time in Stock Island itself.”

Health to You will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on June 21 at Bernstein Park.

Dr. Fry said, “The point of it is to go around from table to table and to talk with these partners and see what their services are. You know, I think I might have mentioned this last time I was on. I feel like in Monroe County, we have so many services. And we have so many options for people, but we just don’t get the word out maybe well enough. We have to talk more about it and get to the right places.”

The event will include healthy snacks, a food pantry and $10 food gift cards will be available.

The Epilepsy Foundation will be there, as well as other federally qualified health centers.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department will be there as well.

Fry reminded, “The Sheriff’s Department, and also the little outlets, the substations, they all have medication drop points. So if you have outdated, unused prescriptions, things that you need to get rid of, you can drop them off there. I think a lot of people just dump them right straight into the toilet, which goes into our water system and we don’t want that.”

So do NOT miss the Health to You event on June 21.

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