2020 Minority Health Fair goes virtual due to COVID-19 concerns

Chris Ramsey (right), president of the Southeast Tennessee Health Consortium Foundation, displays KN95 face masks his organization plans to give away to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Citing concerns about COVID-19, organizers have cancelled the 19th Annual Minority Health Fair (MHF) planned for Aug. 1, on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
In its place will be an Aug. 1 “virtual” online presentation of the event, featuring health professionals and speakers providing information and  giving COVID-19 testimonies. Area physicians will also weigh in on hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic diseases that impact the minority community.

Additionally, through social media and MHF’s website, attendees will be able to virtually visit vendors through scanning QR codes on their cell phones.

Meanwhile, health fair organizers are currently launching a campaign to give away FDA-approved face masks in support of personal health practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Despite the cancellation of the Minority Health Fair, we are proud to announce our Free Mask Giveaway,” said Chris Ramsey, president of the Southeast Tennessee Health Consortium Foundation, which has organized annual MHF planning since the event debuted in 2002.

“The goal of this campaign is to give out 10,000 free KN95 masks to the Chattanooga community. Educating and protecting the minority and underserved community during this public health pandemic continues to be a priority for our foundation.”

Anyone who undergoes free COVID-19 testing at the following sites and dates will receive a KN95 mask: Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church (June 13 and 14), Hawkinsville Baptist Church (June 20 and 21) and Greater Tucker Baptist Church (June 27 and 28). 

The Hamilton County Minority Health Fair began in 2002 as a joint effort of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. to address men’s health concerns. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. got involved in 2004, expanding the scope to include women’s and children’s health issues.

Since that time, the event–with a motto of “Educate and Empower Minorities to Close the Gap”–further focused on significant disparities between the health profiles of African-American and white residents of Hamilton County that persist today.

For further information, call Anthony Sammons at 423-504-2750, or visit www.minorityhealthfair.org.

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