UTHealthCares continues mission of service through community distribution event
Through the pandemic, many changes have occurred with the way UTHealth Houston students interact in classrooms and volunteer in extracurricular activities. However, UTHealthCares, a student-led organization that incorporates all six UTHealth Houston professional schools, continued their commitment to the Eastex/Jensen community.
UTHealthCares would have held its fourth annual community health fair in 2021 at the UT Physicians Multispecialty – Jensen clinic providing food assistance, no-cost health and dental screening, and patient education. Unfortunately, with the pandemic still a major concern, the health fair was ultimately canceled.
Thus, UTHealthCares collaborated with UT Physicians and Commissioner Adrian Garcia from Harris County Precinct 2 to participate in a food distribution event at the Northeast Community Center on March 5, 2021, striving to serve the community during these unprecedented times.
Volunteers from all UTHealth Houston schools came together to assemble over 200 care packages consisting of dental supplies, hand sanitizers, and educational pamphlets with information about COVID-19, health precautions, and local vaccine registrations for those currently eligible. On the morning of the event, hundreds of cars lined up in the parking lot of the community center as volunteers visited each car to deliver the care packages, explain the content, and answer health-related questions in a safe and socially distant manner.
Notably, many of the attendees did not have access to or did not know how to find CDC guidelines or vaccine registration sites. One gentleman learned that his at-risk, 80-year-old mother qualified for the vaccine, and others immediately started the registration process in their cars. While UTHealthCares played a small role during the event, the volunteers and organizers made a lasting impact with the care packages and information provided to the community.