Keeping Tucson Healthy: UA Pharmacy Students Organize Community Health Fair, March 4

Mar 3, 2017

Open to the public, the fair will include free screenings for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and osteoporosis; breathing assessments and medication reviews; and activities for kids, including face painting and a session on making hand sanitizer.

The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is partnering with Tucson Parks and Recreation to host its annual El Rio Neighborhood Center Health Fair on Saturday, March 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 1390 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson.

The health fair will have 50 exhibits representing local health-care partners. UA pharmacy students will provide preventative health screenings, health risk reduction advice and general health education.

Theodore Tong, PharmD, UA College of Pharmacy associate dean and professor, has helped with the health fair since its inception several years ago. He said the El Rio Health Fair is unique compared to the other UA pharmacy health fairs because it brings together different community partners.

“It’s an opportunity to reach out to the community, engage local health-care professionals and provide services to many individuals in the community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these types of health screenings,” said Dr. Tong.

The free screenings are an introduction to addressing potential health concerns. For many health fair attendees, they are able to find their baseline about a health issue or condition. Afterward, the pharmacist schedules an appointment for the patient if needed. This helps ensure the patient follows up with an appropriate provider.

This health fair will have screenings for diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and osteoporosis. Breathing assessments and medication reviews also will be offered.

“We want people to utilize these services while giving our students the opportunity to provide screenings in a community setting,” Dr. Tong said.

Pharmacy student coordinators Sumaiyya Zehri and KoanHee Rim have been working since November to organize the event. Six UA College of Pharmacy faculty members, 80 pharmacy students and 20 pre-pharmacy students have signed up to volunteer at the event. They expect about 500 community members to attend.

“This is the only community health fair that the college hosts,” said Zehri. “We have an active role in planning and organizing it, and it allows students to volunteer in a professional capacity.”

Community members of all ages are welcome to attend the health fair. There will be activities for kids as well, including face painting and a session on making hand sanitizer.  

About the UA College of Pharmacy

Established in 1947, the College of Pharmacy was the first health sciences college at the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona. Educating pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, the college participates in many interdisciplinary and multi-institutional educational and research collaborations throughout Arizona and globally. It is ranked among the premier colleges of pharmacy in the United States and is routinely among the top third of colleges of pharmacy in terms of external funding for research, including funding from the National Institutes of Health.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)

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