Fulfilling the urgent need for accessible and affordable healthcare for every man, woman, and child in America is an essential part of winning for working families. That's why the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) - the nation's largest healthcare union, with over 1 million members in the healthcare industry - hosted the 2012 Health Expo at the Colorado Convention Center today in downtown Denver.
"As a union of healthcare professionals, we believe that a healthy population, with access to quality and affordable healthcare, is an essential part of a just society and a fair economy," explained L. Toni Lewis, MD, Chair of SEIU Healthcare. "We are proud to be here today in Denver, working with the community to talk about the important of healthy living and disease prevention."
Fun activities were also combined with informational sessions on health advocacy. The free, day-long event featured more than twenty healthcare organizations offering information about preventing chronic diseases and healthy living. Free pedometers, screenings for blood pressure and diabetes and classes in Tai Chi and Zumba were also available for participants.
SEIU Healthcare members spoke about their work and the importance of disease prevention and health advocacy.
"We know that promoting healthy living - including staying active and knowledge of disease prevention - is one of the most important ways to help people avoid chronic disease," said Jan Manis, a Licensed Practicing Nurse and member of SEIU Local 105 from Denver. "And for working families, this means healthier lifestyles and lower healthcare costs over the long-term."
"People have got to know their numbers," Manis added, referring to the Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels, "And we have to use that knowledge to take action."
Participants also learned about ways to advocate for better health in their own communities and the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Last month, some 60,000 SEIU Healthcare members who work at Kaiser Permanente reached a groundbreaking tentative agreement that contains new, unique provisions to promote better health among Kaiser Employees as a way of lowering costs.