Tracy Woods, KDMC community service coordinator, said prevention is the reason to host a health fair.
“We can make people aware if their blood pressure is high or if their cholesterol is high or what their problem might be,” she said. “A lot of people are not aware that they have a problem. They come to one of these and it makes them aware that maybe their blood pressure is borderline.”
The open house was in conjunction with the opening of the health center today at 8 a.m.
The Ashland, Ky.-based hospital will offer lab and X-ray services at the new offices.
The medical building sits on the site of the former Portsmouth General Hospital which was razed a couple of years ago.
The new building is not an urgent care or emergency services office.
It houses numerous offices, examination rooms, patient waiting areas, nurses stations and rooms to stabilize patients in emergency conditions.
Woods said some who come to a health fair and learn of medical condition can often regulate it through lifestyle changes.
Others may need more help, however.
“We give them education,” Woods said. “We give them phone numbers so if they do not have a medical provider, they have the knowledge of where they can call and who would be available.”
Those patients who do have a physician can take the results they receive at a health fair for further treatment.
KDMC Marketing/Public Relations Director Tom Dearing said about 500 people had visited the open house by mid-afternoon.
Many no doubt were drawn to the KDMC medical helicopter parked beside the building. At speeds of up to 150 mph, it can ferry patients from Portsmouth to the Ashland KDMC campus in a matter of minutes.
The primary care office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will be staffed by Dr. L. Cantey Hasell and Dr. John Gilbert.
Four more doctors will probably be added eventually, hospital officials say.
One cardiology office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is staffed by Dr. Arshad Ali and Dr. Riaz Baqir.
Dr. John Van Deren, Dr. Chris Epling and Dr. Terence Ross will staff a second cardio office, set to open sometime in the summer.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.