Oct. 17, 2005 "It's an excellent program," Charles Warbington said as he rolled up his sleeve to get his annual flu shot at the Aldersville Senior Center in Frederiksted.
Warbington was one of the more than 600 seniors who participated in the first day of Care Force 2005. He said that he has been coming to the program since it stared in 2000. "It works for me," he said.
Warbington said he had the flu several years ago and contracted pneumonia as a result.
"I never miss my shot now."
Dr. Cora Christian, Virgin Islands Medical Institute director and the driving force of Care Force in the Virgin Islands, said that the seniors look forward to the program every year.
"They are beginning to understand the importance of the getting the flu shot," she said.
The program was being offered simultaneously in Frederiksted and at the D.C. Canegata Ballpark Recreation Center. On Oct. 20 and 21 the program moves to St. Thomas and St. John. Exact times and locations are listed below.
In addition to providing free flu and pneumonia shots, volunteers administered blood-pressure screening, blood-sugar monitoring, dental checks, vision screening and foot exams. Also offered was hemoglobin A1c & lipid profiles, but to get these tests, you have to present a Medicare or insurance card.
Major Sandra Benjamin flew over from St. John as part of the Virgin Islands National Guard medical staff that is volunteering their time to Care Force. Benjamin said she has been volunteering with the program since its inception.
"It was non-stop since until midday," she said referring to the crowds of seniors taking part in the annual check up and screenings.
Benjamin said the guard provided 10 volunteers on St. Croix including certified EMT's a registered nurse and a dentist.
"The seniors look forward to it and we enjoy doing it," Staff Sgt. Sonia Willock said.
Care Force is a collaborative effort between the Virgin Islands Medical Institute, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Hovensa, the Department of Human Services, the V.I. National Guard and the V.I. Air National Guard.
The program will be offered for four more days. Here are the times and locations.
7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 18
D.C. Canegata Ballpark Recreation Center
Aldersville Senior Center
7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 21
St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Sugar Estate
Frenchtown Community Center
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 20
St. Ursula's Senior Center
For more information on Care Force, call 712-2444
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.