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Access Health Louisiana (AHL) hosted its 3rd annual “Jingle Bell Bash” on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at The Esplanade Mall in Kenner, Louisiana. The family-friendly event provided each child with one free toy of their choice. This year’s sponsors included the following: Healthy Blue Louisiana, Louisiana Healthcare Connections, Toys for Tots, The Audubon Nature Institute, Kenner Police Department, Kenner Fire Department and The Scarlett Alaniz Show.
“The Jingle Bell Bash event is one of the greatest community events held at The Esplanade. We value Access Health Louisiana’s footprint in the community with hosting events and what they do daily at Kenner Community Health Clinic on-site at The Esplanade. We look forward to this event with Access Health, as we have watched this event grow 3 years consecutively attracting and reaching a greater portion of the community each year.”, stated Damian Kennedy, The Esplanade Mall General Manager.
Access Health Louisiana is the largest network of Federally Qualified Health Centers in south Louisiana. With over 30 locations across 12 parishes, AHL’s mission is to improve the health of the communities it serves. The 2019 Jingle Bell Bash introduced over a thousand low-income families to the affordable and convenient health services available within the Access Health Louisiana network.
Access Health Louisiana’s patient population represents a collective of bilingual and multicultural residents throughout the state. The AHL Outreach team wanted to celebrate the multicultural and bilingual demographics of the network’s patient population by creating an array of inclusive resources at the event.
The event space began with a presentation of awards of appreciation for each sponsor, Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner City and a special holiday greeting by Santa Claus. Destrehan High School student Amber Dillenhoffer was recognized by AHL for collecting 335 toys from her community in St. Charles Parish to donate to the Jingle Bell Bash. Dillenhoffer has been donating toys to the Access Health Louisiana toy giveaway for three years. This year, AHL invited her to join them on the set at WDSU-TV to promote the giveaway.
Following the award ceremony on the main stage, AHL Diabetic Educator Margarita Tillman gave a bilingual cooking demonstration on healthy alternatives to traditional dishes found in Spanish speaking communities and Creole and Cajun-influenced meals.
Community organizations including 504 HealthNet, Healthy Blue Louisiana and the United States Census Bureau participated in event by providing information and eco-friendly products to adults. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn and apply for Census 2020 jobs.
US Census Partnership specialist, Qiana Wiggins mentioned, “The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Decennial census data is used to determine your representation in Congress, as well as how funds are spent for roads, schools, hospitals, and more. Help ensure that everyone in your community is counted in your community. Jobs for the 2020 Census offer competitive wages that are paid weekly.”
While children were guided through the Access Health Louisiana Toy Shop, parents and guardians were directed through an interactive display of specialties available at AHL community health centers. The integration of technology and personable engagement introduced healthcare services such as AHL primary and behavioral health, pharmacy & 340B discounted drug program, dental, cardiology, nephrology, podiatry, and school-based health centers.
Loaded with information and tools for living a healthier life, parents rejoined with their children holding a special toy from Santa’s workshop.