Laurel event aims to keep residents healthy

Local residents poured in to take part in the free health fair hosted by SCRMC.
Local residents poured in to take part in the free health fair hosted by SCRMC.

Laurel, MS (WDAM) - 2012-A year to get healthy. That was the theme for the free health fair held at South Central Place in Laurel Wednesday.

South Central Regional Medical Center hosted the event featuring over 12 screenings free of charge, including BMI Testing, Skin Cancer Screening, and even relaxation massages. The main goal of the health fair was to promote a healthier lifestyle and to encourage early detection.

"It's prevention screenings and early intervention screenings. We are hoping to catch people who may not realize that they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Or that they have some clinical depression and maybe send them in the right direction to get help," says Licensed Professional Consoler, Amy Adelman.

In these tough economic times, with over 50 million Americans uninsured according to the latest census statistics, events like these continue to bring in more and more people. By congregating these potentially life-saving screening into one central location, officials hope to ease the burden of these sometimes costly medical exams.

"The services that we provide would cost a lot of money. So we have them all in one place and all free of charge and I think that makes a big difference to our community," says Amy.

While the fair may have focused on early detection, officials also provided guests with references tailored to their unique needs.

"Detection but its also reference and recommendations. I've been listing where people can go, what the phone numbers are, based on their insurance or lack of insurance. So we've really tried to get them going in the right direction," says Amy.

Monies raised during the 2011 Art of Healing event funded the fair, as well the "Be Your Best" bus. This mobile multimedia center is focused towards 5th graders and attempts to create an atmosphere conducive to teaching students the dangers of drug use through the use of interactive activities.

Over 100 residents arrived in the first hour, with over 300 expected before closing at 2p.m. South Central Regional Medical Center hopes to organize another health fair for later this year. Until then, they plan to continue with their Wellness Wednesday program, which provides one particular screening free of charge, on the first Wednesday of each month.