The three-hour free health fair held in March at the Family Medicine Center in Northeast El Paso and organized by Paul L. Foster School of Medicine Students United Para Nuestra Salud (SUNS), was attended by over 150 people and was a huge success in the Northeast community say fair organizers. With the help of faculty, sponsors, 50 participating vendors, and other organizations at the fair, students were able to provide 75 free immunizations, 150 bicycle helmets, and over 50 dental, glaucoma, and glucose screenings. Additionally, medical student Jared Bell said that El Paso Animal Services brought out rescue animals to the health fair for adoption and were able to find homes for all of them. “Our blood drive was also very successful,” said Bell.
The annual SUNS Health Fair was started 4 years ago with a mission to promote health and wellness in the Northeast community of El Paso by providing free health care services and information open to the public. Since then, it has continued to grow each year to meet the growing needs of the community. Medical student Monisha Parikh said, “We feel the fair is important because it is a way to educate the community about wellness and preventative medicine while providing free and beneficial services. Health screenings, such as blood pressure, glucose, and BMI, are just some of the available resources at the health fair that helps to increase the public’s awareness of their health, lifestyle, and possible risk factors.”
From health screenings to Zumba, the SUNS Health Fair offers a unique opportunity to engage the surrounding community, while promoting a healthier lifestyle. It was also an opportunity to showcase the health care resources and beneficial programs available in El Paso that some people might otherwise not know about. The SUNS Health fair is just one more way for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine faculty and students to give back to the El Paso community, said Bell.
SUNS Health Fair coordinators would like to thank all of the sponsors, vendors, and volunteers who helped make the event possible. “We would also like to give a special acknowledgement to our founding dean, Dr. Jose Manuel de la Rosa who helped start the free health fair four years ago,” said Bell.