Health fair held at civic center part of Davis’ town hall meeting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Congressman Artur Davis is a man with very little time on his hands.

Luckily for citizens of Selma and the rest of his constituency, health care is a major plank in his platform.

Monday, Selmains got a taste of that platform with his Health Fair.

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Tammy Maul, one of Davis’ staff members, said, &uot;One of the Congressman’s interests is healthcare,&uot;

As a result, health-care professionals of all stripes, from hospice to holistic massage, were represented at the Selma Health Fair.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. was present, as well as several city employees and citizens.

Perkins was pleased with the turnout and said the goal of fair organizers was worthwhile. &uot;The city of Selma supports this effort. I think the response has been outstanding and the service is needed,&uot; said Perkins.

Members of the community agreed and said the fair was valuable.

Howard Smiley, a retired educator, had his blood pressure checked by workers with Amedisys.

He said, &uot;I think it’s wonderful for people to come and get health services like this. I’d like to thank the people responsible.&uot;

Maul said they were glad to produce the fair.

Amedisys provides care to the homebound elderly, as well as a wide range of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.

Davis has put a health fair together at every one of his town hall meetings, and Selma is no exception.

Maul also said it was good for people to take advantage of these services while they could, warning of budget cuts to come. &uot;A lot of these services might not be available with the budget cuts,&uot; she said. &uot;We’re just trying to offer a service to the community.&uot;

Most of the programs were government sponsored, like Cahaba Mental Health and Cahaba Hospice.

Others were private in nature, like Mende’s Massage Therapy. Mende Laurence, owner of Mende’s Massage,

wanted to let Selma know some of the more unorthodox services available to them, including ear candeling.

Ear candeling involves placing a lighted, scented candle into a patient’s ear to draw out toxins and improve sinus problems.

Mende said, &uot;Some people think it gets hot, but there’s no heat involved.&uot;

Either way, a lot of Selmians got a chance to see just what was available to them.

Some people even signed up for AIDS testing, according to Selma AIR representative Latania Webster. AIR is an AIDS testing and education program put together with funds from United Way and other government grants.

Other services included drug abuse prevention from the Cahaba Center, information on Hospice Care from Cahaba Hospice and information on osteoorosis