Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) has been awarded a $5,000

grant from the American Express Foundation to expand and improve the

services provided to the community by the Pomona Community Health Action

Team (PCHAT).

PCHAT is a cooperative project involving WesternU, the Hispanic Youth Task

Force, the Pomona Police Department, Pomona Unified School District

(PUSD), Healthy Start, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, the

Associated Pomona Teachers Association and the Latino Forum. PCHAT, which

holds free monthly health screenings at Pomona-area elementary schools,

was formed in 1994 in response to the growing health care needs of low

socioeconomic and underserved local residents. Between 1994 and February

1999, PCHAT had examined more than 2,000 patients and immunized more than

415 children.

“”American Express Foundation is pleased to support PCHAT’s efforts as it

provides much-needed services to Pomona’s residents,”” said Ian Bishop,

American Express Financial Advisors, Inc. senior financial advisor and

principal district manager-marketing. “”The grant is part of the American

Express Foundation’s program, which donates five percent of its profits to

deserving non-profit organizations in local communities.””

Some of the grant monies will go “”to the purchase of additional medical

equipment, allowing us to make sure even more medically underserved

individuals don’t fall through the cracks,”” said Aaron Hanson, a second-

year medical student at WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific (COMP) and PCHAT project coordinator. “”It’s been an honor to serve

with PCHAT, and WesternU students will be able to continue to do so,

thanks to this grant.””

WesternU students from the University’s doctor of osteopathic medicine,

physician assistant, physical therapy, pharmacy and health professions

education programs conduct the health screenings under the supervision of

licensed physicians and other health care professionals. Students from

PUSD’s Adult Education program for nursing assistants also participate.

Representatives from the Pomona Police offer information about crime

prevention at PCHAT screenings (the department also provides the trailer

in which the examinations take place), and the Hispanic Youth Task Force

and the Associated Pomona Teachers Association provide translation

services and assist in publicity. The Healthy Start program provides the

immunizations and the Pomona Valley Medical Center donates medical and

office supplies and takes in patients referred by PCHAT at no charge for

emergency medical treatment.

PCHAT offers medical services to people of all ages, including

immunizations for measles, mumps and rubella; polio; diphtheria; and

hepatitis B. Some health fairs also offer vision checkups, diabetes

screenings, as well as PAP smears and breast examinations for women.

For more information about the Pomona Community Health Action Team and its

health-screening schedule, call (909) 620-2376. For information on how to

donate monies to the health-screening program, contact WesternU’s Grants

and Foundations Department at (909) 469-5642.