Cempa Offers Free Testing for communities with Limited Resources

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- COVID-19 testing makes big news these days, but that’s not the only major health issue facing people with limited resources.

Organizations partner in an effort to help those with limited access to medical help.

“If you look at statistics on disparities this community is left out and we have underlying health issues in a pandemic environment” said Tennessee State Representative Yusuf Hakeem.

More than two hundred people lined up for COVID-19 testing at the Bethlehem Center in State Rep. Yusuf Hakeem’s district Wednesday.

“We understand that some people do have transportation needs so we are offering walk up testing” said C.E.O. of Cempa Shannon Stephenson.

Stephenson says the covid-19 testing in Alton Park removes the barriers which would otherwise prevent people from accessing health care, “A lot of people have other needs where they can’t leave their family so they need it to come to the community.”

“I came out here today to test and see if I had any symptoms of signs of that virus so everybody at my house can be safe” said a tester in the drive through line.

Tennessee State senator Todd Gardenhire serves on the finance committee and says more testing sites should be implemented in communities like Alton Park.

“If organizations like CEMPA are out in the community testing people then some of that money should go help them pay for it” said Senator Gardenhire. “If we can funnel the money to Erlanger, Parkridge or Memorial and let them contract with this organization than they can be reimbursed for it.

Lawmakers are looking for ways to offer more funding for testing and health care events like this.

“It shows the community that they not being left out, they’re not overlooked and people are interested and concerned about them” said State Rep. Hakeem.

Organizers are breaking down the numbers of “drive up” and “walk up” tests to see how their split approach worked and if changes to other testing sites are warranted.

The next testing site hosted by Cempa will be at the Avondale Y.F.D. Center on May 20th from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

For more information on how to find more health resources in the Chattanooga community got to http://minorityhealthfair.org

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Events, Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News

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