Free screening will be part of health fair

August 08, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

For people who haven't had to seek health-care treatment often and who don't have insurance, going to the doctor's office can be intimidating.

Kim Murdaugh, executive director for Walnut Street Community Health Center in Hagerstown, is hoping to deflate such apprehension with the center's second annual health fair Saturday during National Community Health Center Week.

About 70 to 80 people attended last year's fair. Murdaugh is hoping 200 people will come this year.

The fair will have several activities allowing people to look at exam rooms and talk to the center's staff at their leisure, Murdaugh said.


Prizes people can win through free drawings include a color television, a child's bike and helmet, and a Longaberger basket with a liner. Drawings will be held every half-hour for gift certificates to local restaurants and gift cards from local stores.

"What we really want to do is make people aware of the services they can get here on a daily basis and people with limited access to health care (to know) that there are screenings for preventative health care," Murdaugh said. Individuals don't need to have health insurance to be treated at the center, which serves the Tri-State area, she said.

People can walk through the family practice and check out the dental clinic, Murdaugh said.

According to Barbara Rundle, health services coordinator for the health center, free health screenings will be provided by the health center or Washington County Hospital. Tests are available for:

  • Blood pressure.

  • Diabetes. Center personnel will use a finger stick to poke a finger and get a little blood for testing.

  • Cholesterol. Using a finger stick to get a blood sample for testing. No fasting necessary.

  • Skin cancer. Involves a paper questionnaire. No physical exam.

  • Oral cancer. Will examine mouth. If something suspicious is found, a swab might be taken to send to a lab for testing.

  • Stroke and vascular disease. Involves answering questions. No physical exam.

Doctors will follow up screenings so patients can get the results and any further care can be arranged, Rundle said.

Several organizations are scheduled to have informational booths. This includes the Alzheimer's Association, Behavioral Health Services from the hospital, American Radiology, Head Start, Medbank and REACH cold weather shelter.

Healing Touch will provide short massages and information about massage therapy, Rundle said.

The Hagerstown Fire Department will have a firetruck there from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

A Hagerstown Police Department officer will be available to fingerprint as many as 150 children with children's identity kits provided by the health center.

If you go ...

WHAT: Walnut Street Community Health Center Health Fair

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Walnut Street Community Health Center, 24 N. Walnut St., Hagerstown

COST: Free

DIRECTIONS: Parking is across the street in St. Mary's Catholic Church's lot

For more information, call 301-393-3436.

The Herald-Mail Articles