Non-profit Healthy Tennessee hosts free health fair - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Non-profit Healthy Tennessee hosts free health fair

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Those in need of a doctors visit received just that, thanks to volunteers with Healthy Tennessee.

The non-profit partnered with Volkswagen to provide free health screenings Saturday. 

Dr. Manny Sethi, President of Healthy Tennessee and a Vanderbilt Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon, said the Volunteer state spends up to 40 percent of its budget on health care and treating diseases, but does little to promote wellness. 

"We need to get on the front side of that equation and talk to people about how you educate people about living a healthy lifestyle," said Sethi. 

About 50 local nurses and doctors and 70 health-focused organizations and companies helped provide Chattanoogans with the health care services they needed. 

Some of the free health screenings included blood pressure checks, BMI (body mass index), blood sugar screenings, eye exams for glaucoma, retina exams, hearing exams and diabetes risk assessments.

Sethi said it was exciting to see crowds of people interested in their health. He mentioned, about one in six people in East Tennessee live in poverty and have difficulty meeting basic health needs; one in five kids are at risk of going hungry each day. 

"We're spending so much money on the backside of healthcare on treating diabetes, or treating high blood pressure, or treating heart disease," said Sethi. "Instead of investing in our roads, in our schools, and our bridges we're spending more and more, year after year on healthcare and I think we've got to start talking about prevention."

Sethi said the first step in making a a healthier change, is uplifting our own communities. 

"It's all rooted and based in local communities, and so I think with fighting things like lack of healthcare, lack of resources for food. I think what we need to do is relay focus on those efforts." 

If you missed this weekend's health fair, Remote Area Medical clinic in Cleveland will be providing free health care at Cleveland High School on April 1, starting at 6 a.m. and on April 2 at 2 p.m.

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