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WesternU students gain needed experience during Community Health Fair

by Rodney Tanaka

March 5, 2012

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More than 250 students and faculty from Western University of Health Sciences volunteered their time and provided free health screenings and information during the fourth annual Community Health Fair Saturday, March 3, 2012.

The fair, known as the IPE (interprofessional education) Health Fair to students and faculty at WesternU, attracted nearly 200 people to New Direction Community Church in Pomona, Calif.

“”The IPE Health Fair is part of a beautiful relationship between the community of Pomona and the WesternU students that results in the knowledge of health, acts of caring and the love for life-long learning,”” said third-year College of Optometry student Katherine Gillett, Student Government Association (SGA) Executive President. “”We have a unique opportunity to help the community of Pomona gain health awareness in a time where priorities are solely for survival.””

Faculty and students from the colleges of optometry, dental medicine, podiatric medicine, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and allied health professions provided free vision screenings; structural exams and treatment; dental screenings; foot exams; balance, strength testing and flexibility; blood sugar/diabetes screenings; blood pressure screenings; body mass index calculations; nutrition and exercise information; heart information; prescription interaction advice and pet information.

Pomona resident Tecshoine Antione, who said she is barely getting by on Social Security, came to the health fair to keep her expenses down by having her eyes and teeth checked out for free. While at the fair, she also took advantage of other screenings, like blood pressure and a foot exam. She said she has several follow-up visits with her doctor to do.

Antione said she was very impressed with how all of the students were working her cases, especially the dental students.

“”It’s a great benefit for everybody,”” she said. “”There are people living out there on the street that may need medications and need to see doctors, and those people don’t have medical coverage.””

The WesternU Student Government Association, New Direction Community Church, Sugar Shane Mosley’s Diamonds Love Foundation, Claremont Toyota and Valley Vista Services sponsored the fair.

Follow-up visits to WesternU’s Patient Care Center were offered for those needing further care.

“”Underserved communities lack access to basic health care,”” said first-year College of Osteopathic Medicine of Pacific student Joe Johnson. “”In health screening situations, certain conditions can be caught early and managed in an appropriate fashion. This can impact a community immensely, contributing to healthy and happy members.””

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