Preventive care offered at Kingfest Health Fair

Continuing the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the focus of health screenings conducted by the Jefferson Comprehensive Care System Inc. Saturday at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Service Center, but the event drew very few attendees.

The event was part of Kingfest, a week-long celebration of the life and legacy of King, the slain Civil Rights leader.

Romonico Brooks-Terry, a registered nurse and a supervisor at Comprehensive Care, said the health fair was designed to provide preventive care for people who don’t see a doctor regularly, or have insurance, with the goal being to catch problems early, rather than later when they become more serious and more costly.

“Health care is out there, even for people who don’t have insurance,” Brooks-Terry said. “We operate on a sliding fee scale and we don’t turn anyone away.”

The Rev. Jesse Turner, executive director of Interested Citizens for Voter Registration and Kingfest organizer, discussed the significance of the celebration.

“Dr. King was more than just a Civil Rights worker and that’s why we do an all-week celebration,” Turner said.

“This year we didn’t have the budget to do a lot of advertising and next year, we hope to get more funding to promote this,” Turner said. “We’re way down on our resources right now.”

Turner said the health screenings were an opportunity for people in the community to learn about services that are available to them, even if they can’t afford to see a doctor.

Wanda Pearson, a registered medical assistant at Comprehensive Care was there to focus on children, saying that childhood obesity has become a major problem and kids are becoming couch potatoes.

“There’s too much video and not enough activity,” she said. “There’s no where for the kids to go. There are not a lot of parks and they really need something to do.”

Stacy Knott, a licensed practical nurse, was at the Reynolds Center performing blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks, and talked about how to attract more people to the event next year.

“Hopefully, we can get fliers out and maybe run it on the cable channel to bring the community out,” Knott said. “This is all for the community.’