Last updated: July 18. 2013 7:48PM - 327 Views
Ralph B. Davis

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PRESTONSBURG — The first of four community health fairs was held this week, offering free and vital medical services to uninsured residents.

Envisioned and organized by a consortium of local health care providers, the fairs are intended to address unmet medical needs in the community, particularly in light of Floyd County’s last place showing in this year’s County Health Rankings.

“We see a big need from our community assessment …” said Floyd County Health Department Director Thursa Sloan, whose facility hosted the first event. “There’s so much diabetes, heart disease and cancer in this area, and that’s what we are trying to screen out.”

Three more health fairs are planned over the summer, including:

• June 11 and 12, at South Floyd High School

• June 27 and 28, at Betsy Layne Elementary

• July 16 and 17, at Allen Central High School

The events will run from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.

Compared to some similar events, this series of health fairs will offer many more services, including:

• Breast and cervical cancer screenings

• Simple dental work, such as extractions and fillings

• Diabetes screenings

• Prostate screenings

• Cholesterol screenings

• “FIT test” colon cancer screenings

Most services will be offered for free to adults over the age of 21 who do not have health insurance.

In addition, certain locations will offer sports physicals for children age 6 to 18. Those interested in the physicals are asked to call in advance.

The events will also offer educational information on the Healthy Heart Class, the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, and symptoms of diabetes.

The health fairs are being sponsored by Appalachian Regional Medical Hospital, Big Sandy Health Care, Floyd County Board of Education, Floyd County Family Resource Centers, Floyd County Health Department, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Saint Joseph Martin and other community partners.

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