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Hospital employees from Ohio hold health fair in Harlan

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Medical care providers came from Ohio to the mountains to help folks in need this weekend. Saturday was the final day of the Christ Hospital employee-sponsored Wellness Fair and Community Outreach. The health fair was held at Harlan County High School.

Friday and Saturday mark the 16th year Christ Hospital of Cincinnati, Ohio, has brought its services to Harlan County.

"As the years went by, the needs are getting greater as they are today," said Rodney Myers, the Christ Hospital Chaplain.

Needs for folks like Bobby Lewis, who has eye problems and says he would not be able to get new glasses for a while without the wellness fair.

"It's very expensive not having any insurance. It's good that people do this for us because here in Harlan County, there's a lot of people right now who have been laid off in the mines. A lot of people have it hard. So I think it's a real good thing," Lewis said.

Or Gladys Wallace, who needed a medical checkup.

"I don't have any medical insurance and every time I have a free wellness clinic, I like to try to go to get checked out and everything because it's hard for me," said Wallace.

But medical and vision were not the only needs met. Hygienic supplies, clothes and pre-dried meals were also available.

"It's a blessing from God that they came from wherever they came from and bring it in here to us and we love them for it," said Kathy Turner, who lives in Harlan.

"We supply the needs of the folks I have spoken with over the years and come to this point in time through being here 16 years, that sometimes, it's just the basic things that people need," Myers said.

The hospital brought more than 900 backpacks full of back to school supplies for kids. This is just another reason folks say this wellness fair goes beyond a regular free health clinic.

Organizers say there will be another health fair next year.

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