By JaMichael Brown
Camp REACH student
Former Chattanooga City Councilman Moses Freeman said the Minority Health Fair saved his life.
“If I had never gone, I’d probably be dead,” recalls the 84-year-old husband and great-grandfather.
Doctors found three different blood pressure readings in his arms and ankle. The problem alerted him to blockages in his arteries that could have resulted in stroke or death had they not been detected at the event.
The 21st Annual Minority Health Fair is scheduled for Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s University Center.
It is the first time in three years that the health fair is meeting in person and it is the first minority health fair since the deaths of organizers Dr. Michael Geer and Chris Ramsey, who will both be honored at the event.
Urinalysis; HIV, allergy, diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure testing; and body mass index will be among dozens of free medical tests and information available. Register at minorityhealthfair.com for screenings.
The goal is to make healthcare more accessible to everyone, said Tony Sammons, minority health fair organizer.
Compared to whites, blacks in Hamilton County are four times more likely to die from hypertension or hypertensive renal disease, 35 percent more likely than whites to die from stroke, and 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease, according to the Hamilton County Health Department’s 2019 Picture of Health.
It’s been more than 15 years since workers at the health fair noted Freeman’s different blood pressure readings, but he still shares his story to encourage attendance.
He celebrates his 85th birthday on Aug. 2 and credits the health fair for extending his life.
“Get up enough courage and energy to check yourself out,” said Freeman. “You won’t regret it.”
What: 21st Annual Minority Health Fair
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 6
Where: UTC University Center
Register online at https://minorityhealthfair.com/