Community partners come together for ‘Appalachian Community Health Days’ event

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:09 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Community partners came together in Perry County on Monday with the well-being of Appalachia on their minds.

“We’re partnering with the U-K Center of Excellence for Rural Health,” Kentucky River District Public Health Director Scott Lockard said. “So down here, the health department, we’re providing vaccines tonight as well as our health education team is down here to talk to individuals and connect them up to resources.”

The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health along with the Kentucky River District Health Department and other partners came together to put on their “Appalachian Community Health Days” event.

“The center received funding through HRSA to kind of get out in the communities,” Melissa Sloane with the UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health said. “Especially in our areas where we’ve got some high unvaccinated rates. We just try to talk to people about vaccination.”

Community members had the chance to get vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna while also getting tested for diabetes, screened for cancer and receive a flu shot if they chose to.

“There was urgency just in we had low numbers,” Sloane said. “But now with this new variant, it’s kind of essential that we get folks vaccinated or at least provide that education so that they can make that decision.”

Officials said that they are working to remind the people to not forget about other health concerns.

“It’s very, very important that we’re helping people to remember you got to get your cancer screening done, you ‘ve got to keep your diabetes in check,” Lockard said. “If you’re a smoker, you need to really think about quitting, so there’s all of these other things that impact our health issues as well.”

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