By Lt. Everardo Silva, AA/PIO
Calipatria State Prison

Hundreds of Calipatria State Prison employees picked up stress balls, information packets and had medical screenings during the prison’s recent annual employee health fair.

The fair had about 30 different valley agencies participating to provide important information on how employees can stay healthy in every way.

“We’re looking out for the emotional, psychosocial, physical and financial well-being of our employees and our employees’ families by connecting them with resources in the community,” said Claudia Saldana, Community Resource Manager.

It’s important to not only focus on the physical health of employees but also aspects of life such as financial stability and emotional health since they’re all connected, Saldana explained.

It is also a pleasure to help support local entities such as Calipatria High School’s Culinary Arts Food Club who prepared the food for the event.

Calipatria Prison physical education teacher and Coach Gail Grubbs said he already values physical health, but he said he appreciated the access to a wide variety of health information afforded at the health fair.

“It’s nice to hear it here at work,” Grubbs said.

Calipatria prison Office Technician Myrna Martinez had her blood glucose tested at the fair Wednesday.

“It’s helpful. We work so we don’t have time during the day for this unless we take the day off to do it,” Martinez said.

Calipatria Chief Deputy Warden (A) Brian Paul emphasized the importance of employees creating a balance in their lives physically, emotionally, spiritually and more. That balance will help them be safer and better employees.

“A lot of the staff aren’t aware of what’s available in the community,” Paul said. “This is an opportunity to see what’s in the community.”

The health fair was also a chance to connect the prison’s 1,200 employees with resources in the community. Vendors such as Dr. Sweeny Imperial Valley Chiropractor, Cancer Resource Center of the Desert, various Valley banks, and Pioneers Memorial Hospital were just some of the vendors that provided information during the Oct. 5 event.