Assyrian Health Fair slated for Sunday, Oct. 19 in Skokie

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Mike Isaacs | @SKReview_Mike
Gary Berger quietly fulfilled a big need in the Assyrian community three years ago when he opened the Assyrian American Pharmacy on the east end of Skokie.
The entrepreneur, businessman and pharmacist was 65 then — retirement age — but against all expectations, he found himself doing some of the most meaningful work of his life.

“I never thought this was where I was heading,” Berger said. “But this was meant to be.”

His mission has spread.

On Sunday, Oct. 19, the Assyrian Family Health Alliance will continue to meet the health needs of the local Assyrian community by holding a first annual Family Health Fair at the Assyrian National Council of Illinois, 9131 Niles Center Road.

The health fair is slated from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will offer the following free services:

• A glucose, blood pressure screening and BMI calculation provided by All Labs Now

• Diabetes education and counseling

• Food demonstrations and classes at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

• Dental screenings provided by Dr. Ronnie Pro of Smile Design Dental

• Podiatry screenings provided by Dr. Claude Harb and Dr. Igor Dukarevich of Advanced Podiatry Clinics

• Chiropractic screenings and education provided by Dr. Evana Younan of the Lincolnwood Chiropractic Health Center

• Physical therapy screenings provided by Dr. Romil Sood of Sood Physical Therapy

• OBGYN education and counseling provided by Dr. Dalia Davood of Associates of Obstetrics & Gynecology

• Eye screenings provided by See & Save Optical

• Massage therapy and education provided by Dana Elkhoury, MT

• Dermatology education and counseling provided by Dr. Belmina Michael of Advanced Dermatology and Urology Center

• Urology education & counseling provided by Dr. Alan Sadah of Advanced Dermatology & Urology Center

• Medication counseling provided by the Assyrian American Pharmacy

• Laser hair removal and hydra facial demonstrations provided by Derma Essence

• Education on crime safety provided by the Assyrian Police Association

The health fair will also include a “Children’s Corner” featuring a Skokie fire truck and a Skokie Police squad car from 2 to 3 p.m.; a photo booth with a disc jockey; a Halloween costume contest with face painting; arts and crafts and games; a raffle with prizes; a balloon artist; and old-fashioned popcorn.

Ashour Lazar and Lizan Sliwa, who worked at the Assyrian American Pharmacy, organized the first health fair for the Assyrian community in 2012. More than 400 participants participated. Lazar since then created the Assyrian Family Health Alliance, a non-profit organization, which is sponsor of Sunday’s health fair.

The Assyrian Family Health Alliance continues to grow steadily.

“The Assyrian Family Health Alliance provides vital health services to the underserved members of the Assyrian community of Skokie as well as the Chicagoland area,” Lazar said. “The Alliance has formed tactical and strategic relationships with the Assyrian American Pharmacy, Assyrian Family Health, All Labs Now clinical laboratory and Advanced Podiatry located in Skokie.”

Lazar said the the Alliance will provide follow-up support for those in need of further medical assistance, including financial assistance for physician services as well as more testing.

“Continuing education and follow-up support is part of the mission of The Assyrian Family Health Alliance and is the long-term goal of this Diabetes Awareness Program,” he said. “Helping diabetics will provide a needed service as this disease is so prevalent within our community and in many cases goes undiagnosed. As much as our goal is to help younger people, our services are available to anyone in the community who desires to participate in our programs.”

For more information, contact Ashour Lazar at (847) 542-1839. Donations from the community are accepted at