Urban Wholistics Kicks off Minority Health Month

The Truth Staff

Urban Wholistics by SONIA Organics kicked off National Minority Health Month on April 1 at The Truth Gallery with the first of a two-day community health and wellness event. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., visitors were treated to a Respiratory and Minority Health Lecture featuring Dr. Tonia Farmer, an ENT-Otolaryngoligist from the Lippy Group in Warren, OH, and Dr. Radha Ramana Murthy Gokula, a geriatrician at the University of Toledo.

Day one’s event, held at The Truth Art Gallery was emceed by City Council candidate Erika White, who was assisted by City Councilman Nick Komives.

“What I love is respiratory wellness,” said Dr. Farmer starting her presentation. “I am an ear, nose and throat doctor and respiratory wellness is not just about the lungs. The nose and sinuses are a part also. Wellness looks different for everybody; wellness begins with respiratory wellness. If you do not have a healthy sinus and nose, you will not have good respiratory wellness.”

Councilman Nick Komives and Erika White

Dr. Farmer addressed her audience of about 50 on the necessity to maintain health sinuses and the key that such maintenance was for overall health.

Dr. Gokula followed Dr. Farmer and spoke about some of the measures necessary for aging patients to maintain in order to stay as healthy as possible for the longest time possible.

Urban Wholistics, created by Sonia Flunder-Mcnair three years ago, is a total health, community-based grassroots initiative created to beautify open land in neighborhoods that have been historically excluded from access to holistic green spaces. The initiative engages the community through education, instruction, land development and the creation of economic opportunities.

For Friday’s kick off to Minority Health Month, Flunder-McNair brought together a number of vendors to represent healthy living.

Island Soul, a Caribbean/West Indian food service business by Chef K (Mikkala Bagot), brought the traditional rice and peas dish. Jasmine Dee’s J’s Catering brought the brown rice flavored with turmeric and cilantro and the healthy grain bowls with fresh thyme. Kaylah Pompili’s Set The Bar Bartending Service brought the mint infused water and the signature wines.

Kaylah Pompili of Set The Bar

Urban Wholistics provided the honeys produced by local farmers – Bench’s Bees & Honey products.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Farmer, is the co-owner of the Lippy Group for ENT where she serves as director of the Head and Neck Department and director of the Lippy Allergy Clinic. She also co-owns the independently run Lippy Surgery Center and Lippy Hearing Aid Center. She is an active medical staff member at Trumbull Memorial Hospital and served as past department chair for ENT at St. Joseph Health Center, both in Warren, Ohio. She is a surgeon in a field that is represented by less than one percent of Black specialists.

Day two of the kickoff was held indoors at the Scott High School Field House on Saturday, April 2. That event featured vendors, entertainment, activities, resources and giveaways.