0

Library, several agencies offer free health fair

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Headquarters Library hosted a traveling health fair Wednesday, in conjunction with a state health-care provider and several participating agencies.

The event, which took place from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., included free health testing and dental screenings.

"Any free options we can give people, certainly to find out about their health, I'm all for that," said Sherry Turner, managing librarian for the Headquarters Library, located at 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro.

On a hot summer day, local residents boarded a huge, air-conditioned van where stations were set up for blood glucose testing, as well as blood pressure and dental screenings.

The Community Outreach Vehicle was provided by Amerigroup Community Care, a major sponsor of the event. Amerigroup is one of three health-maintenance organizations that are options under Georgia's Medicaid and Peach Care for Kids Program, according to Lorna Reed, senior marketing representative for Amerigroup.

Peach Care for Kids, the state's child-health insurance program, provides subsidized health care for children of low-earning, working parents, according to Reed.

"This is the first traveling health fair we've [Amerigroup] had in Clayton County," said Reed. She said the organization uses the same van to host traveling health fairs across the state of Georgia.

"With the economy and the job market the way it is, there are a lot of people that come here [library] for job searching, and they lack health-care coverage, so this is an opportunity for them to get free basic health screening, and we can also educate them about Amerigroup's health plans and benefit services" she said.

Renee Morris, 30, of Jonesboro, said she learned about the health fair while visiting the library recently. "My children and I go to the doctor regularly, but it's [health fair] free and something to definitely take advantage of," said Morris, who had her blood glucose level checked.

"We came here [the library] to use the computer," said Tunisia Battle, 34, of Jonesboro, who said she would likely take part in the screenings being offered. "It's free. Why not take advantage of it. It came to you, you didn't have to go looking for it," she said.

The Diabetes Association of Atlanta, the West End Medical Centers, and Kool Smiles Dentistry provided the tests and screenings.

Several agencies also set up information tables inside the library, including the Clayton County Board of Health and the Clayton County Public Schools Family Services Department.