by Amelia Holliday—Staff Reporter
Families and individuals from across the region took part in the Appalachian Regional Hospital’s third annual community and family health and wellness fair at the ARH Regional Medical Mall in Hazard on Thursday.
Screenings for glucose, heart disease, and blood pressure were offered by ARH to qualifying participants, all free of charge, as well as free back-to-school dental exams by the UK dental center.
Melissa Cornett, manager of marketing and communications at ARH, said the event was really geared toward kids in the community, to get them out and excited about being healthy and health aware.
“We’ve got corn hole and balloon animals and just some neat stuff for the kids,” Cornett said at the event. “It’s really important to get them involved early and make sure they’re on the right track to being healthy.”
Terry Feltner, community and patient advocate for ARH, said she has planned the event every year since it began. Last year, the fair drew in 475 participants and this year 600 are expected.
“So far we’ve had about 300,” Feltner said at around noon on Thursday, adding that the count is based on the number of meal vouchers given to registered participants. Meals are provided from Wendy’s by ARH.
Feltner said the reason the hospital plans events like these is to ensure that everyone receives the care that they need and deserve. In such unstable economic times, she said this was one way the hospital could give back to a struggling community that has helped the hospital for years.
“There’s so many people that are out of work, and they won’t go for their screenings. So, this is kind of a way to make sure they get those screenings,” she said.