It costs $12 and has the potential to save lives.
Taylor Regional Hospital hosted its annual community health fair on Saturday, and about 1,300 people attended.
Those who attended could get a general health panel performed for $12, regardless of whether they have health insurance.
The health panel includes a complete blood count and comprehensive metabolic, thyroid stimulating hormone and coronary risk profiles. Prostate screening was available for men for an additional $8.
Nearly 820 people had the blood work performed this year. About 600 people had the work done at last year’s fair.
While about 1,000 people had pre-registered to have the blood work done, TRH CEO Jane Wheatley said she and other hospital staff are pleased with the turnout.
Wheatley said the hospital has offered the health fair off and on for many years. In the past six to seven years, she said, the event has become much more robust.
For the past five to six years, Wheatley said, the fair has been offered at various locations in the community to accommodate a growing crowd. Doing so also allows TRH to invite vendors to provide health and other information.
Wheatley said the fair began when hospital staff noticed there were many people in the community who needed lab work performed, but some didn’t have the means to pay for the work or insurance. No insurance information was required at the fair, Wheatley said.
TRH staff members performed all of the lab work over the weekend. Results are already being sent to those who had the tests performed. The analysis will come to their homes in the mail, Wheatley said, and to their doctor’s offices.
If those who had the tests done didn’t specify a doctor to send the results, a copy of the blood work has been sent to the hospital’s urgent care center.
“If there’s something abnormal, they will be called,” she said.
Wheatley said the hospital’s health fair has yielded some abnormal results. She said a fair at Campbellsville University found an abnormal prostate screening.
Overall, Wheatley said, the lab work performed at the fair could potentially save someone’s life by detecting health problems that could lead to strokes or other ailments. She said the lab work has often caught high cholesterol levels.
Wheatley said she sees TRH offering the fair as a community service.
“We feel like we’re a community partner and we want to give back to the community,” she said.
And offering lab work at a relatively low cost, she said, helps those who are financially struggling but need medical testing. She said it’s also a good way to give residents important health information.
Wheatley said the community has been very supportive of the fair, and some doctors even referred their patients to wait to have testing there so it is affordable.
Representatives from several organizations who had booths at the fair, Wheatley said, have told her that residents didn’t simply pick up the free items they had, they also asked questions. Wheatley said plans for next year’s fair are already under way. She said planning begins in February.