Community health fair reaches nearly 800 residents

by Jo Giles, UNMC public relations | October 12, 2009

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From left: Volunteer nursing student Tiffany Smith listens to the lungs of Ernesto Camacho,3, as his mother, Alejandra, looks on.
The South Omaha Community Health Fair had the highest turnout in event history. The free health fair included critical screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, prostate and oral care screenings.

In addition, 250 free flu shots were given to participants.

"These screenings are essential for the health of our community," said Shireen Rajaram, Ph.D., director of UNMC's Center for Reducing Health Disparities in the College of Public Health. "Since preventative care is imperative to reduce health disparities, our center is deeply grateful to our many community partners who each year help us care for south Omaha residents and make this event a success."

UNMC's Center for Reducing Health Disparities in the College of Public Health hosted the event, which was funded by a grant and sponsored by ConAgra Foods.

Partners

Community partners for the health fair included:

  • ConAgra Foods;
  • Metropolitan Community College;
  • South Omaha Community Care Council; and
  • The Nebraska Methodist Health System.

The Nebraska Methodist Health System donated 50 flu shots and organized nursing staff, students from Nebraska Methodist College and equipment for various screenings.

The health fair was a kick-off event for this year's Bi-National Health week. The week is designed to focus on the unique health needs of the Latino community. However, all activities are open to the public. Bi-National Health Week activities continue until Friday. (View a full list of Bi-National Health Week Activities.)

Nearly 800 people came through the doors of Metropolitan Community College's South Omaha campus to take advantage of the free screenings, health information, and provider access.

"Before the health fair began, people were lined up outside the doors in the cold, so we began the screenings early to accommodate the crowds," said Jose Villegas, event organizer and clinical study specialist in the Center for Reducing Health Disparities. "Participants were able to obtain the results of their blood sugar and cholesterol tests within minutes and were able to discuss their results with health care professionals. We are grateful for the many volunteers who worked as providers and translators for this event."