More than 200 children will be better equipped to start school thanks to a Birmingham area nursing home.

Eastview Rehab & Health Care Center recently hosted its third annual carnival which for the first time included a health fair and distribution of back packs fill with school supplies.

“The philosophy of our ownership is to put nursing homes in areas that are underserved,” Eastview Administrator Brandon Upshaw said. “With that philosophy, we feel like we are committed to the community. We not only try to provide quality health care services and employment, but we also want to be a resource to provide other information for those in our community.”

Students and faculty from Jefferson State Community College provide blood pressure checks.

Students and faculty from Jefferson State Community College provide blood pressure checks.

A lot of information and services were provided during the day-long event. Students from Jefferson State Community College provided blood pressure checks and distributed healthy eating information while Lawson State Community College students offered body mass index screenings. Several vendors were on hand offering demonstrations of therapy equipment, explanations of home health and hospice services, discussions of the symptoms of having a stroke and providing information about community services available to women.

“We try to focus on changing the relationship between the community and nursing home,” Upshaw said. “Most people grew up with certain stigmas attached to nursing homes. So any opportunity we have for individuals to come in and view our facility and give a positive light on what we do here, I think it’s a win-win.”

After visiting each health fair booth, parents were able to pick up back packs for their children. More than 200 back packs containing paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons, glue and other essential items were distributed.

The children were entertained with a carnival style event. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve provided a face painting activity and displayed nature exhibits. Other activities included arts and crafts, sports competitions and a fun zone. Many of the residents of Eastview Rehab & HealthCare Center joined in on the fun.

“A couple of residents tried to dunk me in the dunking booth,” Upshaw laughed. “The residents really enjoy the event and look forward to it every year.”

And there’s a reason everyone at Eastview looks forward to this event.

“The main purpose is to give back to the community,” Upshaw said. “We’re in an area that we feel is underserved and we realize it’s getting harder and harder for individuals to get ready to go back to school. We wanted to do what we could to help the community.”

The Alabama Nursing Home Association is proud to recognize the employees and residents of Eastview Rehab & Healthcare Center. They’re Difference Makers that generously support their community.