Health Fair provides free screenings to migrant workers

Published 9:59 am Friday, November 4, 2016

On Friday, Oct. 28, Nelson Chapel AME partnered with the Center for Health Equity at Florida A&M to provide a health fair for Haitian migrant workers in Bainbridge.

The Center for Health Equity is an inter-professional partnership between the colleges of Pharmacy, Public Health, Nursing, Social Work and Psychology at FAMU.

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“We concentrate in working on various diseases where it predominantly affects minorities,” Dr. Michael Thompson, Dean of the College of Pharmacy at FAMU, said. “One of the things we have is called transforming lives in communities. We do health fairs to educate people on their health status.”

Bruce James II, a Bainbridge native and third year pharmacy student as FAMU, led the effort to partner with Nelson Chapel to host the health fair and provide screening tests for Haitian migrants.

“God blessed me with talents to go off and learn these skills,” James said. “So it’s always good for me to come back and share myself back with the community, which I grew up in.”

Dr. Thompson said the idea to host the fair was developed following the bus crash involving Haitian migrants in July.

“We have offices in Miami, Orlando, so we’re used to working with the Haitian populations there, but not this far north,” he said.

Volunteers at the fair included FAMU students that speak the native Haitian Creole, to enable them to converse with the patients.

Students provided tests including blood pressure checks, diabetes screening, and tests of cholesterol and triglycerides looking at fat intake.

They also held one on one focus groups with the patients to better learn about what health issues the patients were facing and what they would like to see out of future health fairs.

“I hope to increase the awareness of health care and lifestyle modifications that can be made,” James said of the goal of the fair. “These types of screenings are preliminary for some of the major diseases that plague America.”

The health fair served 33 patients.

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