Health Initiative event deemed successful

The 18th annual Health Initiative for Men and Women provided by 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia on Aug. 17 drew 275 community members for free health screenings. Participants included, (from left), Dondra Crawford, RN Clinical Services manager at Redmond Occupational Health, and Rome High School students, who assisted a community member.

This was the 18th year the local 100 Black Men organization held its Health Initiative for Men and Women at the Floyd County Health Department and, once again, it did not disappoint.

“It went great,” Rayford Horne, chapter president of 100 Black Men, said Monday of the Aug. 17 event that drew 275 community members for free health screenings and information provided by 40 vendors. “The purpose of the event was to provide free health care for our Northwest Georgia community and I feel we fulfilled that purpose.”

Horne said Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center and the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition partnered to provide a total of 41 pap smears, 25 mammograms, 60 prostate cancer tests and a number of HIV tests. Blood pressures, blood sugar tests and other basic check-up items also were conducted.

Curtis Adams, health and wellness chairman of 100 Black Men, said the exact number of HIV tests provided was not yet available, but said his organization has been told by the AIDS Resource Council of Rome that more people are screened for HIV at the annual health fair than at any other event.

Adams said they used to screen up to 130 men for prostate cancer at past health initiatives, but the American Cancer Society guidelines of only testing up to the age of 70 cut that number down for the past couple of years.

Still, Adams was more than satisfied with this year’s event.

“It’s the longest-running health fair that is truly community-based,” Adams said Monday. “It provides opportunities for care for those who are uninsured or underinsured.”

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