River Region Pushes Healthy Lifestyle

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By Alabama News Network

Thousands of people are unable to get health insurance in the state of Alabama.

 
But today a health fair in Montgomery offered free screenings to encourage them to keep up healthy habits. 
 
The free screenings covered everything from blood pressure to asthma.
 
There were even screenings for breast and prostate cancer.
 
With some in Alabama falling into the medicaid gap, too poor to afford insurance but not poor enough for medicaid, it's important to stay health conscious. 
 
"I think it's very important. Health care has been a little controversial over the last couple of years but it's very very important. I've known several people who have stayed with a job just because of the health care from that job," said Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie.
 
It's not just the unemployed who are being health conscious. Some have other problems keeping them from seeing a doctor.
 
"It means a whole lot to me because I recently started a new job and my insurance hasn't kicked in yet. I haven't been to the doctor in a while, so this really helps until my insurance kicks in," said Jeremy Hardy. 
 
Montgomery was named the most obese city in the country in 2010.
 
But through efforts like this, Mayor Todd Strange says  the city is whittling down that number.
 
"We got 15,000 less people obese in the river region today than we did two or three years ago. That means less health care costs, that means a healthier lifestyle, we have lots of opportunity to continue that," said Mayor Strange.
 
The main focus of the event is to help not just adults, but the children who depend on them, whether they're insured or not. 
 
"This is about growing up great, the focus is on children, young students going back to school. It's a time to pay attention to their health. Not just the students, but parents, grandparents, uncles," said Health Services Inc. CEO Bernell Mapp.
 
There were about 500 people who got screened at the event last year.

 

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