JONESBORO - More than 2,000 Clayton County residents came seeking advice and attention from physicians and medical providers who dispensed services at the 15th annual Health Fair hosted by Congressman David Scott Saturday at Mundy’s Mill High School.

The fair offered residents of all ages an opportunity to connect with various services, health care providers, facilities and volunteer agencies in Clayton and surrounding counties.

‘Everyone here today has access to a number of free and diverse medical examinations that are being conducted by physicians, nurses and assistants from the Atlanta VA system and hospitals such as Emory, Grady, Northside, Southern Regional Medical Center, and WellStar Health System,” Scott said.

He added that the health fair, this year in particular, was focusing awareness on black women’s health care, and calling attention to the high suicide rate among veterans.

“The Atlanta VA Regional Clinic is losing 20 lives a day to suicide,” Scott said.

People attending the health fair gave positive nods to the number of vendors that were present and the types of examinations that were available. 

“I generally come every year,” said Michael Jack. “It’s a good idea to provide free screenings. The health fair is held between my annual checkup so I find the time to take advantage of the examinations.”

Another participant, David Belt, said, “I came for an eye exam. I think I need eye care so I hope to get a referral from the doctors I talk to here.”

“Assembling this event is no small task," said Chandra Harris, district director. "So much time and effort are involved.” After the conclusion of this health fair, she said, fair officials will make an assessment and start right away with putting together next year’s event.

An eight-member office staff planned the logistics and advertisements to promote this year’s health fair. It developed a working partnership that included 112 health-related organizations that swelled into 176 working booths.

Several of the booths included health screenings, which according to Scott’s website, included exams for breast cancer, prostate cancer, HIV, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, uterine fibroid, mental health, vision, glaucoma, dental, orthopedic and flu shots.

Harris added that an increase was realized this year in the number of volunteers that assisted with the event. Over 150 volunteers worked in two shifts to assist vendors with carrying items from and to the parking lot, and setting up and taking down their booths. They also assisted with lunch and other tasks.

The volunteer roster included students and staff at the host high school, and a team of students and teachers at schools in Stockbridge that were under the direction of Neat Robinson, a city council member.

Harris said the time and work involved in putting the fair together are worth the effort.

“People attending the health fair have an opportunity to receive free services which are central to enjoying a healthy life,” she said. “They also have opportunities to get exposed to resources and services they may not know about.”

Education reporter Heather Middleton joined the Clayton News and Henry Herald in 2002.

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