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

body mechanics.

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

learning.””

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.