Sept. 16, 2007 -- On a sunny September afternoon, the smell of grilled food was in the air and the sound of laughter could be heard as the more than 500 participants in the Buckingham Health Fair/Community Day participated in medical screenings and mingled with the volunteers at the Third Liberty Baptist Church in New Canton, Va.
Sponsored by UVa Health System, The Office of the Vice President and Chief officer for Diversity and Equity and Third Liberty Baptist Church, the fair offered community members the opportunity get valuable health information.
“Our community members were engaged and excited to participate in the event," said Marjorie Chambers, Missionary President of the Third Liberty Baptist Church. "Those who have often neglected to utilize the local health clinic in our area came out to seek medical consultations and health screenings. We are grateful to Dr. Marcus Martin and UVA’s Health System for volunteering their time to serve our community."
Leonard Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer at U.Va., was among those in attendance from the University to witness the overwhelming community response plus the dedication of more than 60 volunteers. The volunteers included undergraduate pre-med students, current medical and nursing students, nurses, physicians and UVa Health System employees.
"The U.Va. Health System is committed to addressing the health care needs of the citizens in our region, and the Buckingham County event is a perfect example of dedicated health care providers reaching out to those who are underserved in our immediate area, Sandridge said. "My wife, Jerry, and I spoke with a number of U.Va. staff and medical students, and they consistently remarked about how much they enjoyed meeting and providing care to this important part of our community. Third Liberty Baptist Church was an excellent location for the event. Simply put, Jerry and I were very impressed and pleased that U.Va. could have a small role in making life better for these wonderful citizens of our community."
The services offered included free health screenings, information on diabetes, obesity, cancer, as well as other health topics. Health assessments included sports physicals, blood pressure checks, height/weight measurements, and body mass index calculations. The mammography van was also on premises.
"I heard numerous positive comments from people who traveled from many different Buckingham and Fluvanna County communities to take advantage of the free medical services," said Dr. Martin, associate vice president in the Office for Diversity and Equity
and assistant dean of the School of Medicine. "The local event organizers — Marjorie Chambers, Pastor Roderick Galloway and the Third Liberty Baptist congregation — provided wonderful hospitality."
Chambers reports that she continues to receive positive feedback from attendees and adds that there is one reoccurring theme: “They all say, 'We hope they’ll have it again next year.'”