Taking a break from their studies to help people in a medically underserved area in north Houston, students from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are holding a free health fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the UT Physicians Multispecialty – Jensen clinic, 2620 E. Crosstimbers St., Suite 100.
Research shows that people living in underserved areas are less likely to have a primary care provider and be screened for common medical issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and tooth decay.
For a third year, students from all six schools at UTHealth will screen people in the Crosstimbers/Jensen area for vision, blood pressure, blood sugar level, dental, and overall health challenges at no cost.
In addition, the students will run a teddy bear clinic to help children overcome their fear of doctors. The caregivers-to-be will reassure children that there is nothing to worry about by conducting a mock exam on a teddy bear.
The UTHealth students are also partnering with the Houston Food Bank, which will provide complimentary food boxes to the first 150 families.
“We’re providing a door of opportunity. We may attract people who do not have a regular doctor. It’s our hope that they will continue their care at UT Physicians – Jensen,” said Mary Esmeralda Fuentes, health fair co-director and third-year doctoral student at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Fuentes said 97 students have signed up to volunteer. Last year, student volunteers provided screenings to about 100 families.
The health fair is led by UTHealthCares, a student-run community engagement organization with members from McGovern Medical School, MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School, School of Public Health, School of Dentistry, School of Biomedical Informatics, and Cizik School of Nursing.
“Seeing our students out in the community helping the diverse patient population that we serve at UT Physicians Multispecialty – Jensen is wonderful. This is a perfect opportunity to help educate our patients about their own health and the range of services offered at our Jensen clinic,” said LaTanya Love, MD, the project’s faculty advisor and an associate dean for admissions and student affairs at McGovern Medical School.
UT Physicians is the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School and opened the clinic in the Jensen area in 2018 to provide much-needed primary, prevention, and specialty care services.
The clinic serves as a medical home, providing synchronized care through a multidisciplinary care team approach to address the medical, psychosocial, education, and resource needs of patients. Clinic staff work with the Jensen community to deliver health education and wellness programs that are responsive to the identified health care needs of the area.
The facility is a Network Access Improvement Program project made possible through the UT Physicians Healthcare Transformation Initiatives with collaboration from a community advisory board.
For more information on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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