A cold, wet morning curbed turnout at Fort Loudoun Medical
Center's health fair Tuesday morning, but it didn't keep everyone away.
Residents from Lenoir
City, Tellico Village and even Knoxville came to First Baptist Church of Lenoir City to take
advantage of free and discounted health services at the local Covenant Health Check
Many residents came to have blood work done at heavily discounted prices. Others came
for the convenience of a comprehensive checkup at one location.
As a self-employed Lenoir
City resident, Stephanie Hodnett said visits to the doctor can be pricey. She made her rounds to the
booths that applied to her health needs. She wanted a more in-depth checkup than her regular
"I do have supplemental insurance, but that's only if something happens. That's
not for preventative care, so for preventative care, something like this is really beneficial for
people who don't have insurance or who have supplement type things," Hodnett, who owns Kidstruction
Learning Center, said. She estimated lab work can cost a minimum of $200 at her doctor's
Delores Duff took advantage of every booth, saying she believes keeping her health in
check is key. "It catches things before it takes their life. ... I called my niece and told my
brother-in-law and sister-in-law about it," Duff said.
"I go every year. I go to my physician
regularly too, but that's just once a year unless I have to go for a reason. This I can keep
checked, especially the thyroid to see if I need to do anything else about it," Greenback resident
Thelma Cooper said.
Tellico Village residents Dan and Carole Conrad make visiting a Covenant
Health Check fair a yearly ritual. They came to have their blood work done, complete health
screenings and to soak up health tips.
"It's cheaper than the doctor, even though my
insurance pays for the other," Dan Conrad said.
Knoxville residents Herc and Cathy Lourenco
agree visiting the health fair is all about the discounted services. With insurance that "doesn't
pay for a lot of stuff," Cathy said the health fair saves a couple hundred dollars. The couple
thinks health care is overpriced for the American household.
"You know it doesn't have to be
because obviously you can get blood tests here for $20 a test. ... People should have access to
inexpensive medical care. It doesn't have to cost that much, but there's all kinds of things built
into the way we live here in America with insurance and lawsuits and all these things that add all
this wasted cost into the system," Cathy said. "That's frustrating because you should be able to get
medical care for very little. It cost money, obviously, and people need to have jobs and get paid
but it's not right."
Hodnett hopes the health fair is offered more often in the community and
that a few more services will be added.
"Probably some vision, hearing. Those kinds of
things. When you go to the doctor you look at the eye chart. You can take it a step further than
that. There is equipment that can really check your eyes, and I'm not sure if those eye charts are
the most accurate way to check your vision," Hodnett said.
FLMC marketing coordinator Ashley
Hankla said she believed residents turned out not only for the discounted and free services, but the
convenience of having a variety of services in one location.
Free blood pressure, body
composition, carotid artery and other free screenings were available. Discounted blood work included
a blood chemistry profile, complete blood count and checks for prostate specific antigen, thyroid
stimulating hormone, high sensitivity C-reactive protein and hemoglobin.
Hankla said she
hopes the health fair exposes residences to the services offered at the local hospital.
have everything here. There is no reason why anybody should drive to Knoxville or the surrounding
communities for what we are offering," Hankla said.
It was the first time Hodnett has visited
the health fair, but she has plans to come again.
"I turned 40 this year in June so I felt
like I needed to start paying attention to this kind of thing, and I have a house full of children
who need me around, so I need to pay attention to my health," Hodnett said.