News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 1, 2010

Residents of all ages head to Hulman Center for free health care

TERRE HAUTE — Valley residents turned out in droves for free health care Sunday afternoon.

“I think it’s pretty incredible,” Michelle Pollard of Harrison College said inside Indiana State University’s Hulman Center amid the 2010 Terre Haute Community Health Fair. Visitors crowded the halls of the building to receive free health care services which, as Pollard noted, typically cost money.

The annual event, which was launched in 2005, is currently organized by medical students at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute and sponsored by Union Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation.

Free screenings were conducted by the National Kidney Foundation through a series of stations. Savannah Cox, an ISU junior majoring in social work, handled registrations at the front of the line.

“So far we’ve had 43 people,” she said at 2:30 p.m.

Participants completed a health questionnaire before volunteers took their physical measurements, including height, weight and blood pressure. A blood draw was performed at the third station and urine samples were taken to screen for kidney function, anemia and cholesterol levels. The final stage was a physician consultation.

Meanwhile, vendors from health care and educational groups promoted their services as dancers demonstrated Zumba, a dance-based exercise program, in the hallways.

Jessica Brown, a second-year medical student at Indiana University’s Terre Haute campus, said the group passed out 350 free satchels to visitors and could have used more. “Things went pretty well this year,” the Indianapolis native and future gerontologist (study of the social, psychological and biological aspects of aging) said.

Still, the group hopes to spread the word about the free health fair as the Vigo County community hosts a number of uninsured and underinsured residents. About 70 area businesses and organizations participated as vendors, she said.

Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or

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    March 12, 2010