Making healthier resolutions

By Courtney Lane - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some health care providers and city leaders in Tyler are starting a new initiative to combat chronic diseases. Total Healthcare Center in Tyler held their annual free health fair Saturday.

It's not the new year but they're encouraging east Texans to start healthier resolutions now.

"During this year we want you to focus on exercise, on eating better, and really taking care of yourself because we want you to be a citizen of Tyler for a long long time," said Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.

Dr. Bennie Webster with Total Healthcare says the number of patients with diabetes and hypertension is growing.

"Some of these patients come to us and they've never had their blood pressure checked, they've never been screened for diabetes, and so when we get these patients they have chronic diseases," said Dr. Webster.

And once the new healthcare reform is enacted, she says they'll see a wave of new needs.

"Because more patients will have insurance but they will still be under-insured and also the number of medicaid patients will increase," said Dr. Webster.

But she says that's something they're prepared for.

Mayor Bass is also a breast cancer survivor who credits early detection. She's an advocate for early screenings and living healthier lifestyles.

"We're going to launch a full initiative in our community this year that will be focused on people getting lots of exercise, having plenty of opportunity, and will make them aware of where they can go and exercise," said Mayor Bass.

Johnathan Ellison with PECAT, or People Educating Communities About Tobacco, hopes more will kick their tobacco habits.

"It's hard to find money to pay bills but they can find ways to pay for their tobacco products and unfortunately some of our kids suffer because of that," he said.

Saturday, folks received free screenings for prostate cancer, diabetes, and had their blood pressure checked, among other things. Total Healthcare mainly serves low-income and under-insured patients and encourages anyone to make an appointment.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.