Southland Health Fair on May 5 offers free, efficient tests

There's a reason the Southland Health Fair is in its 35th year, according to Susan Fine, who has been involved in the event from the beginning.

"It's the breadth and quality of service," she said. "Half of the people every year are those who come back year after year. The other half are brand new to the event, those who have heard how much you can get done in a day."

The event, sponsored by UChicago Medicine-Ingalls Hospital, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Matteson Community Center, 20642 Matteson Ave. No appointments are required.

"It's a wonderful community service that staff and doctors look forward to," Fine said. 

About 200 physicians, nurses, technicians and volunteers provide service during the fair. This year's fair will include 25 free screening tests, including blood tests for cholesterol, skin and breast cancer, arthritis and joint pain, back and neck pain. Attendees also can be tested for allergies, and take vision and hearing tests. 

Some tests, including lipid profiles and triglyceride levels (which require a 12-hour fast before the test) are given for a small fee or discounted rate. 

"For many years, (the fair) just got bigger and better and bigger and better," said Fine, who now is a retired Ingalls Hospital employee. 

These days the focus is on maintaining the range and high quality of services provided at the fair, she said. Each year the staff makes adjustments to help the event work more smoothly for patients.

Typically, people who attend are uninsured or underinsured, but the event is not limited to people in those situations. Fine said a diverse cross section of people from all around the South Suburbs makes use of the opportunity. 

For more information, visit or call 708-915-2273. 

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