Wellness Wednesday - Health fair in south Omaha provides free preventive screenings

by Jo Giles, UNMC public relations | October 05, 2011

We all know we should do it. But, many of us just don't make time for that annual health check-up.

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Omaha's observance of Bi-National Health Week between Mexico and the U.S. was kicked off Tuesday night at UNMC with the help of, from left, Bob Bartee, UNMC's vice chancellor external affairs; Mexican Consulate Jorge Esepjel; Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle; Ayman El Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., dean of the college of public health; and Magda Peck, Sc.D., associate dean for community engagement and public health practice.
Others in our community are unemployed and don't have health insurance.

This weekend, a health fair in south Omaha could be the prescription for everyone.

It is one of the largest community health fairs and is part of the annual Bi-National Health Week.

A bigger movement

Bi-National Health Week is collaboration between Mexico and the U.S. that began more than 20 years ago and spread across the country with the growth of immigration. In Omaha, health education, community forums and the health fair make up a week of targeted activities sponsored by the Mexican Consulate.

UNMC's College of Public Health hosted this year's kickoff event on Tuesday at a reception in the Maurer Center for Public Health, which featured a proclamation from Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and comments by UNMC faculty, staff and community members.

A needed service

The college's Center for Reducing Health Disparities helped organize this weekend's health fair.

"For some of our residents, the south Omaha health fair provides a rare opportunity to get much-needed health information, preventive screenings and one-on-one consultation with health providers," said Aura Whitney-Jackson, community outreach specialist in the Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

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