Breast cancer survivor, Sonja Rodgers, is vice president of the Atlanta Southern Region chapter of Sisters Network Inc. She is speaking to a resident about the organization's services to help women through the cancer treatment process. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)
LOVEJOY — Independent agents spoke at length about the process of enrolling in the health insurance marketplace provided under the Affordable Care Act.
Agents Marissa Outten-Walker and Sinaia Quander kept busy answering questions from passers-by during Lovejoy’s health fair Wednesday.
Adreanna Figueroa of Jonesboro was among the interested patrons. With each answer, her eyes grew wider with intrigue, and she would asked another question.
“This is really nice,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting to learn about this today.”
Outten-Walker said there has been an increased interest, good and bad, in the health care provision since open enrollment began Oct. 1.
“More people can afford now to pay for health care,” said Outten-Walker. “It’s an opportunity for a lot of people from 0-64 to get coverage. Those people want to know what plans are available and how it works.”
The health insurance agents were seated in the center of Room A of the Lovejoy Community Center, surrounded by other vending booths draped in pink tablecloths, flowers and balloons — an obvious recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness signs adorned several pamphlet-filled tables.
The health fair featured more than a dozen vendors and representatives from Advanced Family Eye Care of Hampton, American Diabetes Association, SafeLink, Foundation Chiropractor, Fayette Piedmont Hospital, Heaven’s Gate Mobile Wellness Spa, WellCare, The Quantum Healing House, Jonesboro Lions Club, CVS, Spiritual Healing, Organo Gold and Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services.
At the Clayton County Board of Health booth, representatives told patrons about the agency’s various programs surrounding breast health.
Women’s Health program coordinator Belinda Starks, Breast Health program client navigator Sue Strom, WIC and Breastfeeding program coordinator Cheryl Riley, and nutrition coordinator Katrina Brantley were on hand speaking to women about preventative care and early detection.
Riley said most Clayton County residents do not realize entirely what the Board of Health offers in services, resources and programs.
“We have to come out into the community and educate people about the services we provide,” said Riley. “They don’t know that we offer health services, mammograms, prostate exams, immunizations for infants.”
She said the agency also provides psychological health services, a low-cost car seat safety course and other high-demand health services. On Wednesday, she handed out $30 child safety kits for free in an effort to help parents safeguard their children from household hazards.
Diana Galloway and Sonjia Rodgers sat in the booth across from Riley.
Galloway is the founder and president of the Atlanta Southern Region chapter of Sisters Network Inc., a nonprofit organization designed to assist breast cancer patients through the process of treatment.
The pair said community events such as Lovejoy’s health fair are instrumental in helping raise awareness for the organization, breast cancer and breast health.
Organizers of this year’s health fair have several events planned for this fall including the city’s quarterly job fair Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Lovejoy Community Center, 11622 Hastings Bridge Road.