Free medical, dental screenings for Richmond Metro community

Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-19 17:53:51-04

CHURCHILL, Va (WTVR) -- The lack of healthcare insurance or even the costs associated with health screenings have caused some to put off going to the doctor.  But today through sponsorships and donations, a community-wide collaboration offered Richmonders free dental and medical services.

With weeks to go before the election, healthcare is center stage for both presidential candidates.  It was also the focus of a Churchill event Friday.

"There's always a sense of uncertainty around what's happening right now,"  Tracy Causy, CEO of Capital Area Health said.  "A sense of uncertainty of what's happening on the national level."

With debates surrounding Medicare and the funding of private insurance, the health fair gave those in attendance a chance to take their loved one to the doctor without worrying about who's picking up the tab.

Diamond Bennett, 13, said after getting sick last year her focus was on preventing it from happening again.

"It was this one time when I didn't get a flu shot and I had the flu for a whole year, so I didn't got to school," Diamond Bennett said.

In addition to free flu shots, people off all ages could obtain dental screenings, blood pressure checkups and testing for diabetes.

"You never know what's going on underneath the skin," Causy said.

The services proved vital to those who may find themselves underinsured or in some cases uninsured.

"It's really, really going to help some people's lives," health care attendee Marvin Dillard said.  "I need a primary doctor, it's just the insurance, like I said I"m having problems with the insurance, I can't afford it right now."

It's a sentiment shared by Diamond Bennett.

"It benefits me because with our family we don't have a lot of money to get flu shots, so it's very good that I get to get a flu shot for free," Diamond said.

While most were grateful for today's free health services, they said they're worried about the future of the nation's healthcare.

"When you have so many people unhealthy and out of insurance, why would you wnat to cut that?" Dillard asked.

Close to 300 people were expected to take full advantage of the free healthcare and dental screenings.