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May 9, 1986

Screening and Health Fairs

Author Affiliations

NHSCVO Kensington, Md

JAMA. 1986;255(18):2443. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370180069014

To the Editor.—  Donald Berwick's1 recent article raises many important issues and vital questions about health screenings in general, and health fair screenings in particular. The National Health Screening Council for Volunteer Organizations Inc (NHSCVO) was happy to provide Dr Berwick with a large share of the data on which he based his report. While we do disagree with certain of his interpretations and conclusions, we deeply appreciate his recognition of the impact of health fairs on the American health care system.Dr Berwick's article must be read with a firm understanding of the role of our health fairs in that system. Health fairs are viewed by NHSCVO as vehicles for health education and promotion, not as diagnostic centers or substitutes for examination by a physician. In this context, the emphasis in critiquing the value of health fairs should be placed not on the five participants in every 1,000