Article: “Second Health Fair in Progress,” from the Oak Ridger

Lunsford, Larry. “Second Health Fair In Progress.” Oak Ridger, 1971. View PDF.


A second “Health Fair” is
currently in progress at the
Briceville Elementary School in
the Briceville Community west
of Lake City. (It continues
through Friday.)

Sponsored by the Briceville
People’s Health Council, the
project was first conducted at
the end of July, 1970. It
originated last year when Tom
Finley of the Anderson County
Health Department spoke at a P-
TA meeting in Briceville and
advised the people on holding a
health fair with the help of state
officials. The “fair” idea was
Accepted by the P-TA and they
worked with the Health Council
in developing the project.

According to Byrd Duncan,
Health Council president, and
Rick Davidson, Vanderbilt
medical student in charge of the
mobile unit group, last year’s
“fair” went over very well. “We
didn’t know if we would have the
fair again this year or not,”
Duncan remarked, “but the
students visited us frequently
and said they’d like to come
back, so the Health Council
invited them back.”

The “fair” is conducted by
medical students from Van-
derbilt University. There are 25
medical students at the “fair”
among the 65 total Vandy stu-
dents who are funded by the
state. There are five doctors who
will work periodically throughout
the “fair’s” stay which began on
July 6.

Two mobile units are again
offering health services. The two
diagnostic phase screening vans
were donated by the Tennessee
Valley Authority.

The fair is being conducted in
two places this year. Half of the
Briceville group moved to New
River Community for a “fair”

Continued on Page 11 No. 7

* Number 7

Health Fair

– From Page One

being held there at the Rosedale
School. This week, neither of the
mobile units has been moved,
but other medical equipment
was taken to New River. Ben
Giles and Sharon Smith went to
New River last week to prepare
for the “fair” to be held there. A
state tuberculosis bus is at this

Since last year’s “fair,” the
Briceville People’s Health
Council has been loaned a
mobile unit to serve as a health
clinic. It has been in operation
for about two months. According
to Duncan, the clinic is open at
irregular hours, but it will be
open daily on weekdays for the
rest of this summer because it
will be staffed by a Vanderbilt
student nurse. “It is usually
open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mon-
days. On every second and
fourth Monday, we have the
county nurse for half a day. We
also have a doctor once a week,
and we’re open every other week
on Wednesdays,” said Duncan.

The Health Council is
currently holding a drive to raise
money to build a new clinic.
Members are selling donation
cards for $1. “We had an X-ray
machine donated to us and other
equipment, but we need a
building to put them in. The
people have to go to other cities
to see a doctor, and we want our
own doctor here,” Duncan said.

Thus far, fewer people have
come through for the various
medical tests than at this time
last year. Both Duncan and
Davidson feel that the reason for
this is the lack of publicity for
the fair. “The people are not
responding as well this year as
they did last year,” Duncan
continued. “The biggest
problem is that many of them
can’t get here. Last year we
gave them rides here and back
to their homes. We need
volunteers to do this again this

According to Duncan, “The
fair is divided into divisions for
men, women, and children.
After registration, they get a
medical history taken. The other
tests given are eye and ear tests,
height and weight checks, blood
pressure test, diabetes tests,
urinalysis, blood tests, elec-
trocardiographs, X-rays,
tuberculosis tests, im-
munizations, and a general
physical examination.” A Pap
test is also given to women.

After tests are completed at
the “fair,” the results are sent to
Chattanooga to be com-
puterized. After they are
analyzed there, the results are
sent back to either the clinic or
the family physician. The person
will be notified that either
nothing is wrong or details of
what medical care he should

Six students will remain and
live in the community for follow-
up work this summer. Linda Bell
will serve as a nurse. Muffy
Ecker will be a lab worker in the
clinic. John Davis and Karen
Blaydes will help with general
follow-up. Sharon Smith and Ben
will handle the follow-up in New

The “fair” is going as well as
can be expected,” said David-
son. There were approximately
50 people who came for
examinations on the first day
with some traveling as far as 20

Although several cases of
diabetes were found last year,
Davidson said that it is still too
early to say if anything out of the
ordinary has been found this
year. The results usually take
about five days to be returned
from Chattanooga.

More than 1150 came to the
“fair” last year, and some had
to be turned away, but thus far,
the “fair” this year has been
running smoothly and there have
not been any large crowds of
people to come, probably
because many of them still do
not know that the “fair” is going
on. The Briceville school is
located three miles off Highway
115 in Lake City.

Duncan said he was most
impressed at the response that
has been received from the
community volunteers and local
medical authorities. Local
churches have volunteered to
feed the workers, and refresh-
ments are also provided at the
“fair.” Movies are also shown
for children, many concerning
dental hygiene.

The Planned Parenthood has
also set up a table where
pamphlets are available.

Image captions:

Registration table, left to right, Babbs Bolling, Ruth Moyers and Merle Orr, all Vanderbilt
medical students.

Rick Davidson, mobile unit director, watches as Bella
Vanderels types out registration form.

Getting ready to weight and measure young Lisa Parsons are
left, Susan Wodicka and right, Evelyn Epps.