Health fair in Cleveland

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2012

By Karissa Minn
CLEVELAND — Saturday was a good day to be a woman at Cornerstone Baptist Church.
During a women’s community health fair, the Cleveland church was giving out massages, manicures, haircuts, blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, mammography screenings, dental work and prayer help from volunteers.
Some services also were available for their children.
This is the first year for the health fair, and church member Jessica Rhodes says she hopes it won’t be the last.
The event was organized by the church’s women’s group called Embracing Hearts. Its leader, Jeannette Nelson, is Rhodes’ mother and the head coordinator of the health fair.
“We just wanted to do something for the community,” Rhodes said. “Times are tough right now, especially for people who don’t have insurance. We want to provide them with some pampering, and also things that could potentially save their life.”
Jamilla Hicks, of Mount Ulla, climbed aboard the fair’s “dental bus” to fill and seal a crown that she just had fixed.
“I don’t have insurance, and Medicaid doesn’t cover this,” she said. “I said, ‘Really? A traveling dentist?’ But the doctor was really nice.”
The bus, staffed by local dentists, hygienists and assistants, is run by the North Carolina Baptists on Mission.
“It’s fun, it’s a great time, and we meet real interesting people,” said Dr. Ken Washko, a dentist who practices in Spencer. “We’re happy to do this in our free time off.”
Inside the church, Melissa McDaniel had her hair trimmed and styled for her birthday. She said she got some blood pressure and blood sugar tests done, as well.
“I think it’s great, I really do,” she said. “The chiropractor was wonderful.”
Because some of her family members died of breast cancer, McDaniel said she particularly appreciated the mobile mammography unit from Charlotte Radiology. There, women could receive mammograms, paid for by Cornerstone Baptist Church.
Rhodes said the event started small several months ago and just kept growing.
“We want to thank church members for supporting this,” she said. “We hope it will be an annual thing.”
Kathy Bowles and CJ’s Restaurant provided food for lunches at the event. IGA provided drinks and supplies.
Hairdressers included Vicky Small, of Tranquility Salon in Mooresville; Pamela Carpenter, of Cleveland Cut and Curl; Sarah Moore, of Country Chick salon; Stacy Lee, of Hihohairdo’s in Mooresville; and Melanie Frye, of Kuttin’ Up salon in Statesville.
Volunteers giving blood pressure screenings, blood sugar screenings and health checks included nurse Annie Barnette of CMC Northeast; Mike Eckman, of Iredell County EMS; nurse Kellie Koontz of Forsyth Medical Center; Tim Moore, a paramedic with NuCare; Brandi Moore, an emergency room nurse with Rowan Regional Medical Center; and Carol Briggs, a nurse at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.
Brandie Marlin, of Marlin Chiropractic Center, offered her services as a chiropractor.
Dental care was provided by Dr. Ken Washko; Dr. James Murphy and assistant Linda; Dr. Mark Dale and assistant Katherine Pritchard; Dr. Janek Patel and assistant Crystal; Christina Cochran, a dental assistant; and dental hygienists Theresa Webber, Lauren Hood and Melanie Farkey.
Chandra Wright and Anne Marie Sexton, technicians with Charlotte radiology, gave mammography screenings.
Mario Velazquez and Suzie Deleon served as interpreters.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.
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