NDSU pharmacy, Master of Public Health students host health fair for new Americans
More than 3,500 foreign-born people live in Fargo, coming from countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Bosnia, Bhutan, Iraq, Mexico and elsewhere. These populations depend on subsidized health care, which frequently doesn’t include routine screenings or culturally sensitive health promotion activities.
As an outreach of the NDSU School of Pharmacy and the Master in Public Health program, a health fair was held at the Family HealthCare Center in Fargo on March 19 to serve these populations. The center is a federally funded community health center that provides the majority of health care for Fargo’s foreign-born population.
Eighty-two people attended the health fair, the purpose of which was to screen for cardiovascular disease risks and provide appropriate health education. Twelve fourth-year NDSU pharmacy students and several community volunteers worked with Mark Strand, associate professor of pharmacy practice, and Brody Maack, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, to conduct the fair.
The students and volunteers compiled a health history – tobacco use, diabetes and family history of cardiovascular disease – and conducted blood pressure screenings. From this information they were able to calculate patients’ risk for developing a cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years. The students and volunteers also were able to make referrals for cholesterol screenings for 58 of the patients.
After a heart-healthy snack, attendees were invited to tour the fitness center, which they can use free of charge. Smoking cessation assistance was provided for tobacco users who requested help.
Attendees more mostly new Americans from seven countries. Compared to norms among American populations, attendees had higher rates of all diseases screened, including diabetes, 10-year cardiovascular risk, tobacco use and elevated blood pressure.
Those who attended were given an opportunity to learn about their cardiovascular disease risks and learn about the services available to them through the Family HealthCare Center. Pharmacy students who worked as volunteers at the health fair had a rich cross-cultural experience, allowing them to improve their clinical skills and test their cross-cultural competence.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.