On Saturday, April 16, members of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (COPHS) collaborated with local government, religious and academic institutions in the Haughville Health Fair at Holy Trinity Catholic Church on the near-Westside of Indianapolis. Approximately 100 people of all ages attended the event.
The interprofessional health and wellness fair served the predominantly Latino and African American community, providing free health screenings along with activities related to health, safety and nutrition.
Physician assistant and pharmacy students developed educational information they shared with fairgoers on such topics as early cancer detection, healthy diet tips at low cost, the importance in increasing activity to improve overall health, smoking cessation encouragement and interactive games to illustrate the long-term effects of smoking.
“We were well prepared and had a great set up,” said Lauren Widau, a second-year physician assistant student. Students suggested resources in the community where fairgoers could receive low-cost medical care for needed follow-up. Jennifer Burkhart, 2011 graduate from the physician assistant program, said fair visitors expressed appreciation for receiving “information that they can use for a lifetime.”
Significant language support was provided by advanced students taking medical Spanish in the College.
The exhibitors were able to offer free first aid supplies and educational brochures (in Spanish and English) on first aid techniques, funded by donations from individuals, corporations, and COPHS College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
“This is a great example of COPHS faculty and students serving as ‘Agents of Change’ in a community,” said Dean Mary Andritz. “Physician assistants and pharmacists can make significant contributions to public health through outreach activities and as part of their daily practice.”
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