TTUHSC pharmacy and nursing students and faculty teamed up with volunteers from St. John Baptist Church, Amarillo College, West Texas A&M University and the City of Amarillo to conduct a free health fair Feb. 17 at the Amarillo United Citizens Forum. The effort, known as the Alive and Aware Health Fair, focused on the top health issues faced by the African-American community, including HIV, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Volunteers conducted free screenings for body mass index, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, pulmonary function, COPD, depression and HIV. School of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Shanna James, Pharm.D., said more than 160 people attended the health fair and more than 80 were screened by TTUHSC students. She said students also helped the Amarillo Department of Public Health provide sexually transmitted infection screenings and immunizations. All participating schools conducted sessions for children about careers in health care.
"For adults I provided three sessions: Diabetes and Me, Operation Breath (pulmonary disorders and smoking) and Love and Health,” James said. “We provided the Love and Health session for everyone 13 and up and it was co-presented Marcus Nerios, an outreach specialist from the Department of Public Health, pharmacy students Kingsley Ugoji (P1) and Jeremy Camp (P3) and me. We talked about what is sex, what is safe sex and where to go for resources. We also had a condom demonstrator and at the end who had participants practice using condoms.”
The Alive and Aware Health Fair was an extension of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that began in 1999 and was commemorated this year on Feb. 7. The 2017 theme was, “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS!”