JONESBORO — When doors opened Saturday at Congressman David Scott’s 13 annual Health Fair, the hubbub was similar to a long-awaited holiday shopping sale as visitors rushed to take advantage of a range of medical services and to discuss their ailments with physicians. No co-pay was necessary.
It is not known how many visitors attended the five-hour event, said Chandra Harris, assistant to Congressman Scott. It is much too difficult to maintain an accurate check on the number of people entering throughout the day, she said.
Some 120 vendors were in line to provide information on products and services in 41 areas which offered free health screenings and examinations for men, women and children. The fair was held at Mundy’s Mill High School.
Tote bags handed out by vendors allowed visitors who navigated through rows of booths to collect oodles of information on a variety of health topics, and to gather free pens, pencils and mints that were available.
“This is a good way to collect information on a variety of subjects,” said Marilyn Khalfoni, who was receiving services offered by Ideal Therapy. “It is also a good way to catch up on medical needs.”
Sharon Sharock, a visitor standing in line at a medical booth that focused on stress, said that she attended the health fair to find out why the heels of her feet were constantly hurting.
While the health fair offered free services that helped the community to keep check on their health issues, it also provided an opportunity for former patients and physicians to reunite.
Dr. John Lipman, medical director at Atlanta Fibroid Center, met up with a former patient, Lillie Ann Noel, who stopped by his booth to chat with him and his staff.
“I came to know Dr. Lipman through on-line research, Noel said. “This is my first time attending the health fair. I learned about his practice, then scheduled an appointment with him to perform the uterine fibroid embolization.”
Noel continued: “I had uterine fibroids that were adversely impacting my daily life and health. A hysterectomy was recommended by my doctor — no other options were discussed or recommended. I started doing my own research about my condition and even sought out a second and third opinion about my best course of action. I learned about a procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), an alternative to major surgery to eliminate benign uterine fibroids.
“I was shocked by the number of women who were also diagnosed with benign fibroids, but whose doctors recommended and performed hysterectomies and myomectomies, rather than having a uterine fibroid embolization. I was ecstatic to learn that I was a candidate for the procedure, and that my quality of life could be restored without requiring any major surgery. I received the procedure as an out-patient, and was back to work in one to two weeks.”
Dr. Lipman added that he performs a procedure that replaces the need for hysterectomy for women suffering with uterine fibroids. “The procedure is called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE),” he said. “Hysterectomy is the second most common surgery in the United States and most commonly performed for fibroids, which are benign non-cancerous tumors. The average age women undergo hysterectomy is less than 40 years and up to 80 percent of adult African-American women have these tumors.
“UFE is an outpatient, non-surgical procedure,” Lipman continued. “Patients come in to our center in the morning and leave in the early afternoon with just a Band-Aid! I have been performing UFE for over 20 years and yet most women suffering with fibroids are not told of this option by their doctor. “
Lipman described himself as an interventional radiologist. “They are physicians who perform cutting edge image-guided procedures for a whole host of medical conditions which replace the need for surgery,” he said.
Noel and Lipman were in agreement that Congressman Scott’s health fair was a tremendous event for the community. “It provides screenings and health information to the public that literally saves lives,” Lipman said. “Even if you are in decent health, you may get medical information that will save someone else’s life.
“The patients in my medical practice are typically women; most commonly African-American women. We hope the women we connected with at this event will share the information we provided, as well as the information on our website at www.ATLii.com.
“I have been a resident of Clayton County for almost 13 years,” Noel continued. “I was particularly attracted by the opportunity to receive a wide-variety of health screenings for free and in one place. Awesome opportunity!”