Hutcheson Medical Center hosted a community health fair Thursday at the hospital’s Fuller Cancer Center on Battlefield Parkway in Catoosa County. The event featured free preventative wellness screenings for skin cancer, prostate cancer, peripheral vascular disease, lung function, wound care, and lab testing for glucose and cholesterol.
“We wanted to host a community event that focused on preventative health,” said Farrell Hayes, president and CEO of Hutcheson. “For so many medical issues, catching the condition early can make the difference between prevention versus lifelong, chronic treatment.
” Mr. Hayes stated that 83 local residents attended the event. Of those, 19 patients were screened positive for suspicious skin cancer lesions, three screened positive for abnormal nodules in the prostate, and two screened positive for signs of peripheral vascular disease. All patients with positive screens were referred to specialists for immediate follow-up, and the hospital will notify patients of abnormal glucose and cholesterol results once lab analysis is completed.
The event is the first of the quarterly community health fairs Hutcheson has planned over the next 12 months. The hospital has upcoming fairs on October 7 at Trenton Family Practice, February 3 in the hospital’s main lobby, and May 5 at Physician’s Family Care in Lafayette. “We will be hosting them throughout our service area of Walker, Dade, and Catoosa,” said Mr. Hayes. “We want to make attending a free preventative screening as convenient as possible for the residents we serve.”
"The health fair initiative is just one of many progressive steps the hospital is taking under the leadership of GB Health Management, a Chattanooga-based health care management and consulting firm founded by Mike Aiken, MD. Under the direction of Aiken and Hayes, the hospital has seen a 10% increase in patient volume and acuity over the past month and steady growth during the past week," officials said.
“We are very pleased with the positive direction of Hutcheson,” said Mr. Aiken. “Hospitals typically see a decrease in volume during the summer months due to the seasonality of illnesses like influenza. In comparison, our volumes are up and we are encouraged by our growth. If we take into account the normal 10% drop hospitals experience during this time of year, we’ve had an effective 20% growth rate over the past month. To me, that means that the community has faith in our ability to deliver quality healthcare right here at home.”