Executive Director Teresa Tyson said Wednesday that the organization will debut its latest piece of diagnostic equipment — an ultrasound machine — at next month’s fair thanks to a partnership with health care groups the Philips Foundation, Barnabas Health and RAD-AID.
“It’s like a health fair on steroids,” Tyson said of the event, which will offer several medical services including:
— Physical exams
— Cholesterol, blood sugar and hepatitis C checks
— Vision and hearing exams
— Pulmonology, lung function and cardiovascular/stroke checks and screenings
— Chest X-rays and ultrasound tests
— Mammogram registrations
“The Philips Foundation will bring the ultrasound to the fair and then leave it with the Health Wagon,” Tyson said. “Anytime you can do that, it’s a big help for people in the region.”
The Health Wagon will be at Zion Family Ministries in Wise March 6 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. On March 7, the Wagon will be at EnerVest at Happy Valley in Clintwood from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tyson said support for the 2019 Health Fair comes from the Quillen College of Medicine, Remote Area Medical, the Virginia Health Care Foundation, United Breast Cancer Foundation, LabCorp and the AstraZeneca Health Care Foundation.
Tyson also said the Virginia General Assembly was considering a bill that would make it easier for the annual Remote Area Medical summer health clinic in Wise County to bring in out-of-state dentists to support one of RAM’s most demanded services.
Legislation has been in place for several years that made it easier for RAM and the Health Wagon to get a three-day Virginia exemption for out-of-state volunteer doctors to work at the RAM clinics. Tyson said that same provision has not been available to out-of-state dentists and dental hygienists wanting to work at the RAM dental clinics.
House Bill 2184, sponsored by Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, passed the House of Delegates unanimously on Feb. 4 and was awaiting approval by a Senate health professions subcommittee Wednesday before a full Senate vote.
Kilgore’s bill would allow the same exemption available to non-Virginia doctors for free clinics such as RAM as long as the clinics’ sponsors verify that those volunteers are properly licensed and unrestricted in the states where they practice.
“We still vet people who come here to work at RAM,” Tyson said. “We hold high standards for the people who come here.”
“I do think he has the heart of the people here,” Tyson said of Kilgore’s work on the exemption bill. “He was a swing vote on Medicare expansion in Virginia and that has really helped this region.”
For more information on the Health Fair, call the Health Wagon at (276) 328-8850.