By Joel Hall
Health conscious and uninsured residents of the Southern Crescent will have access to more than 20 different, free, medical screenings, as well as advice from some of the area's leading doctors and surgeons.
The sixth annual 13th Congressional District Health Fair will take place this Saturday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., at Mundy's Mill High School, located at 9652 Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro.
According to organizers, more than 90 health-related companies will convene to offer healthy eating tips, preventative health-care screenings, dental checkups, and information on the recently passed Affordable Healthcare for America Act.
Along with its annual jobs fair, the office of U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) has been hosting the annual health fair since Scott has served in Congress.
Isaac Dodoo, deputy district director for Scott's office, said this year's health fare has more participation than in year's past. He said doctors and health professionals will be on hand to perform vision and hearing screenings, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol screenings, dermatology examinations, dental checkups, breast cancer exams, and spinal and posture screenings -- all at no cost to the public.
"The congressman's vision is for his constituents at-large is to have one place, at least once a year, where they can have a thorough medical checkup," Dodoo said. "There are a lot of people, right now, who are struggling because of this economy. This is a chance where people can come to one place and get all of their blood work done, and have references to hospitals, should the need arise."
Dodoo said companies offering screenings and information this year include: AID Atlanta; the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia; the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association; American Heart Association; the Clayton County Board of Health; Emory Midtown Hospital; Southern Regional Medical Center; Walgreens; Open MRI Centers of Georgia; Riverdale Foot Ankle & Leg Clinic; Tooth Fairy Dental; Saladmaster; Doctors for America; and others.
In addition, Dodoo said, several notable speakers have been invited to share valuable health-care information. Dr. Rogsbert Phillips, one of Atlanta's top breast cancer surgeons, and Austell-based diagnostic radiologist, Dr. Farah Williams, will speak on advances in breast cancer research. Representatives from the Dendreon Corporation, a Seattle-based biotechnology company, will speak on a new drug targeted to those suffering from prostate cancer, according to Dodoo.
Scott, who will attend the health fair, said he will be available to answer questions about the country's recently passed health-care legislation. "I will be there to explain some of the benefits available, now, through the current health bill," he said. "Young people can stay on the health insurance of their parents until they are 26 [years old]. No insurance can take you off the insurance, if you get sick. That stops now. Children [under 18] cannot be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. There are other things that kick in on a systematic basis, which will be in place when the bill kicks in completely in 2014.
"There is no better way to deal with the high cost of health care than making sure it is available for free," he added. "A lot of times, the reason that people get these diseases is because of lack of information. If you don't have the information, you die unnecessarily, and we are preventing that. You know you've done a great thing, because people leave the health fair in better shape than they were in."
For more information and a list of available screenings, visit www.house.gov/davidscott, or call (770) 432-5405, or (770) 210-5073.