April 9, 2010 — A local nonprofit organization, headed by a University of Virginia doctoral nursing student, is holding its first annual community health fair in Fluvanna County April 10. A joint effort between Providing Resources to Inspire, Develop and Empower, Inc., and the New Fork Baptist Church, the fair will provide residents with quality health information and serve as a means to connect underserved rural, and diverse populations with local area health providers and resources. Supported by U.Va.'s School of Nursing and Office for Diversity and Equity, the fair will be held at the New Fork Baptist Church in Palmyra from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
U.Va. doctoral nursing student Michael Carey, who is president of PRIDE, Inc., said he is devoted to making the health fair a fun and interactive family event. "We have lost far too many of our loved ones to preventable medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. The health fair serves as a call to action – one I hope will improve health-related behaviors and inspire future generations," said Carey, a young father and member of the community.
The goals of the health fair are to: increase personal health awareness; motivate participants to make positive health behavior changes; increase awareness of local, state and national health services and resources; and identify health topics/needs for future health programs.
An interdisciplinary health care team, including nurses, nursing students, nutritional experts, medical and chiropractic physicians, and search and rescue personnel will work with participants to provide a wide spectrum of health services, including blood pressure screening, diabetes monitoring, nutritional assessment, cancer education (prostate, breast, ovarian), lower back pain management and emergency response services (Rescue Squad and Fire Department). Screening and assessment results will help identify participants at-risk for medical problems and other serious conditions. Health fair participants will have the opportunity to follow up with local health care providers for future consultations.
Health fair participants will enjoy cooking demonstrations and food sampling, a push-up contest and raffles for free health-conscious gifts. A dietitian and a nutritionist will provide information about how people can eat healthier without feeling like they are giving up the flavorful food they enjoy. One of the nutritional consultants is New Fork Baptist Church's own First Lady, Shirelle Harris. A certified personal trainer will provide information about how to incorporate short but effective exercises into daily routines. Events for kids include a scavenger hunt, teddy bear clinic and talking with paramedics and fire fighters while exploring ambulances and fire trucks.
PRIDE, Inc., hopes to continue the fair annually. Participants will have the opportunity to fill out evaluation forms to determine if goals were achieved and to serve as a guide for future health fairs.
About the School of Nursing:
The University of Virginia School of Nursing stands among the top 5 percent in the nation, ranked 19th by U.S. News & World Report; two of its graduate programs are currently listed in the U.S. News Top 10. With a vigorous research program that includes studies in rural health care and disparities, oncology, gerontology, complementary therapies and nursing history, the school has implemented new programs and strategies to address the national nursing shortage and the concurrent need for more highly educated nurses to deliver increasingly complex health care. The newly opened Claude Moore Nursing Education Building and upcoming renovation of McLeod Hall allow for an enrollment increase and expansion of the Clinical Simulation Learning Center and the Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. Dean and Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing Dorrie Fontaine, is the former associate dean for academic programs at the University of California, San Francisco and a past president of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. For more information about the U.Va. School of Nursing and its programs, visit here.