TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MAHADEV DESAI
Over 300 people attended the 28th SAI Health Fair, held at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta, Riverdale, Georgia, on Saturday, April 14. The Health Fair, as always, was spearheaded by well-known physician, Dr. Sujatha Reddy as a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi and also to promote their philosophies of non-violence, community selfless service and social justice. The event was strongly supported by Muthalamada Sneham Charities, physicians, health care professionals and volunteers.
People of diverse nationalities and cultures from all over Atlanta availed themselves of the free consultancy and tests services provided by over 30 dedicated physicians representing 13 specialties, six phlebotomists, and over 35 service-oriented volunteers including from Mercer University and Emory Medical School, who attended to the various health related concerns of the people after they registered for blood tests, free EKGs; free glaucoma and vision screenings; preventive Cardiology tests, free Bone Density tests to detect osteoporosis and free Consultancy in, dermatology, orthopedics, dentistry; family practice, Internal Medicine, Cardiology, psychiatry gastroenterology, , ophthalmology, chiropractic medicine ,physical therapy, chronic pain, Gynecology, and Physical Rehab Medicine.
Many, including elderly and disabled people, lined-up as early as 7.00 a.m. The spacious and well- lighted hall had neatly laid out tables, and comfortable seating arrangements for the attendees. The physicians, nurses and volunteers treated all with cheerfulness, courtesy and dignity and in a relaxed manner.
Over 149 EKGs were carried out by Southern Heart Specialists, Riverdale, Georgia and Commerce Cardiology Group,Commerce,GA,(EKG-women).
Over 58 vision and Glaucoma screening tests were done by Dr.Megan Scott and her staff from Emory University. In her appreciatory comments Dr.Megan said “The health fair was a wonderful opportunity for those of us in the Student Sight Savers program. The staff and patients were all extremely kind, patient, and grateful. We could not have expected a more successful event and look forward to participating in the SAI health fair in the future.”
Marjorie Sen who was with a team of Pharmacy students from Mercer University, commented, “Most of us are members of the American Pharmacy Association's Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) and some of us are members of the pharmacy honor society Rho Chi.”
“I really enjoyed the health fair! I thought it was very well organized and very comprehensive. I like how patients were followed through, from the lab values to the follow-up with medical professionals who could help them interpret their results and see what was needed. This made for great patient care. It was my favorite health fair that I participated in this year! I hope to come back and volunteer again with my school,” she added.
And Mercer Universitys LindsayMalphrus commented, “The experience has been really rewarding. It is an opportunity to incorporate lot of our drug knowledge and therapeutic knowledge and apply it to the patients here according to what they are getting done and what health issues they have. We appreciate the opportunity to integrate that knowledge and interact with the community.”
45 audio screenings were done by Dr.Sridhar Krishnamurthy.Bone Mineral Density screening tests were in big demand More than 40 bone-density tests, were performed by a team of Madhusudhana Siddagunta, Dr.Haritha Katam and Mrs.Uma Ponangi. Out of forty, twenty seven were found to be abnormal.
Majority of the attendees wanted Blood tests. Over 230 cost –effective, basic quality comprehensive Chemistry profile of blood tests with PSA, and HBA1c were carried out at a nominal fee of $25 per test. The lab work was provided by American Clinical Labs. Inc.in Stone Mountain. It is noteworthy that the results of the blood work were mailed within 48 hours! The test results helped identify some life threatening results which were immediately notified to the participants.
All the participants were provided with snacks and beverages. Charter Anchor Hospital, Forest Park kindly provided fruit trays, water bottles, cookies and fruit juice, while Sai Health Fair arranged for delicious lunch for all the doctors, nurses and volunteers.
An elated Dr. Sujatha Reddy thanked Hindu Temple President, Dr. Jayasree Moparthy for providing the accommodation and help in staging the Health Fair, and Dr.Koti Veeraiah and Dr.Aruna from Houma, L.A. for donating an EKG machine.She further thanked Emory University volunteers and Mercer University’s Dr.Strom and student volunteers, supporting sponsors; the team of physicians, nurses, students and dedicated volunteers who together helped make the Health Fair a big success. The mission of the SAI Health Fairs is to create an awareness of the importance of preventive health care among the public-detection, prevention and cure. Too often you hear someone say, “if only we had known all of this could have been prevented.”