Inland Valley residents interested in learning more about how they can
live healthier lives should come to a free health fair May 3 at Western
University of Health Sciences (WesternU).
The fair, hosted by WesternU’s first-year physician assistant (PA)
students as part of their final exams, will include cholesterol and
diabetes screenings, blood pressure measurements, body fat analysis and
blood typing, as well as information on osteoporosis, breast cancer
screening and self-examination, contraception, lung, skin and testicular
cancer, HIV, medical self-care, stress reduction, fitness, ergonomics and
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the College Plaza on the
WesternU campus, 309 E. Second St., in downtown Pomona. The public is
welcome and encouraged to attend.
Several health organizations will be on hand to offer the health
screenings and help the physician assistant students. They include Planned
Parenthood, Loma Linda University Hospital, Hardy Diagnostics, the
Foothill AIDS Project, Westcliff Labs, Newport Bay Hospital and the Pomona
Valley YMCA. Other organizations that will be represented include the
American Cancer Society, iMetrikus, the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer
Foundation, and McGraw-Hill and Lippencott publishers. The California
Academy of Physician Assistants also will have a booth at the fair.
Students will be selling food for hungry fair goers, as well. Fifty
percent of proceeds will go to a local charity; the remaining half will go
toward next year’s health fair as well as a book fund/gift certificate for
physician assistant students at the University’s bookstore.
In addition to providing a community service, the fair is doing double
duty as the final exam for the students’ Clinical Skills class. The 98 PA
students will be tested on their proficiency in such areas as physical
assessment, blood drawing, blood pressure measurements, history taking,
body fat analysis, patient education and other clinical skills.
Amelia Naccarto-Coleman, MAS, PA-C, assistant professor of physician
assistant education, said she came up with the health fair as an
alternative to a more traditional final exam.
“”I thought it would be more challenging if they did a hands-on project
that integrated all of the clinical skills they learned from the beginning
of the year. In addition to being more fun, the students will have an
opportunity to provide a needed service to the community. They can also
incorporate other disciplines on campus to promote interdisciplinary
Students have been practicing their clinical skills on each other
throughout the year; a health fair gives them the opportunity to
demonstrate their proficiency on a variety of “”real”” patients, use their
counseling, physical assessment and patient education skills, strengthen
team building and learn how to reach out to members of the community. PA
faculty members will be supervising the students the day of the fair.
WesternU’s Primary Care Physician Assistant Program trains its students to
provide humanistic and comprehensive primary care medicine with a special
focus on the underserved populations – hence the desire to offer the
health fair free to local residents.
Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice
medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/PA relationship,
PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range
of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services.
For more information on the health fair, contact WesternU’s media
relations department at (909) 469-5389.