By Jennie Lee, UF Student National Pharmacy Association
The U.S. Census Bureau in 2009 found that the percentage of people in Alachua County living below the poverty level had risen to nearly one-fourth of the population. Poverty is taking its toll on people struggling to meet family needs and many cannot afford health-care costs.
The UF Student National Pharmaceutical Association chapter took action in December to offer health services to this population at the 2nd Annual Minority Health Fair in East Gainesville.
Students worked with Walgreens, the Alachua County Health Department, area health education centers and UF student pharmacist organizations to provide free health screenings, consultations, food and entertainment.
After sign-in, each patient received an introduction and a bag filled with free products. An individual “health report card” asked brief questions regarding alcohol, drugs and domestic abuse. Booth topics ranged from safe sex, body mass index testing, blood pressure, blood glucose, HIV/AIDS, stroke, alcohol, immunization and more. At the end of the fair, patients had scores on their report cards with helpful tips on how to improve their results.