Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Free Health Screenings for West Louisville Residents

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, March 07, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mark York

Initiative result of consent decree

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Thousands of residents of Louisville’s west end will be eligible for free health screenings under an initiative announced today by Governor Ernie Fletcher.

The health screenings are the result of a 2005 settlement between the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice with the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) on sewage overflows.

The settlement requires the sewer district to take corrective actions to bring the system into compliance with water quality standards and to perform supplemental environmental projects under state supervision. One project is to provide free health screenings for up to 30,000 residents of the “Rubbertown” area of west Louisville, which is adjacent to the city’s industrialized area. The settlement agreement calls for $1.2 million to be available for the program.

“The Rubbertown screening process is a first step toward improving the health of residents in this area,” said Governor Fletcher. “The intent of the screening is to provide early detection, treatment and prevention, and to bring about real results that create a healthy community.”

Dr. Adewale Troutman, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness (LMDPHW) said the health screening process will involve a diverse group of people and organizations interested in promoting detection, treatment and prevention of disease.

“With this initiative, we have a chance to screen for and identify certain chronic illnesses, educate the public about issues of importance to their health, and get them into the health and healthcare delivery system if they have no current source of care,” said Troutman.

Arnita Gadson, executive director of the West Jefferson County Community Task Force, commended MSD, EPPC and the health department for the screening process.

“Even though the health screenings come from unfortunate events, I’m glad that an opportunity has been presented to look at the health issues of residents in the Rubbertown area and develop a baseline for further study. With this project, we can begin to build a foundation for the development of a database for more in-depth study.”

The LMDPHW will be responsible for counseling and follow-up care through existing resources or associated programs.