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Event offers doses of healthy information

POSTED: May 4, 2011 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Certified medical assistant Kirsty Russell takes a reading of Inez Couch’s blood pressure April 26 at a health fair sponsored by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce. A normal reading is 120 over 80, Russell said.

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Michele DeBlois sat down for a vision screening last Tuesday having an idea about the results.


“I’ve known I’ve needed new glasses for a while now,” she said.


DeBlois was among dozens who took advantage of a free health fair at Rock Creek Park, sponsored by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce to showcase local health and wellness providers.


Stephanie Mathis, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, said the event was designed to raise awareness about health care available in the community.


“This is a way for the citizens of Dawson County to recognize what type of health services we have here in Dawson County,” she said. “You don’t have to drive to Atlanta to meet with a doctor or to see a chiropractor. We have those things right here and there are a variety of services that most people might not know about.”


More than 20 local businesses associated with the healthcare industry provided educational literature, talked about wellness issues and offered a variety of screenings, from vision and hearing to glucose and blood pressure at no charge.


Kirsty Russell, a certified medical assistant with Chestatee Emergent Medical Care, offered blood pressure readings to attendees.


“There are several factors that could raise blood pressure — being a smoker, or maybe they just ate. I always ask about their medical history and if they’ve been seen before for hypertension,” Russell said. “If they say no, I ask them to schedule a time to come into the office for a consult.”


Medical professional consider 120 over 80 a normal reading.


“Blood pressure is just not something you can play around with,” Russell said.


Organizers said they hope to hold the health fair annually.


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