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Health // Doctor in the House
Rasa Fournier

JABSOM Community Health Fair

Chadwick Council
Chairman at JABSOM Health Fair

How did you get involved with the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) annual Community Health Fair?

I’m a first-year medical student at JABSOM and loved the idea of a community health fair, so I decided to help as chairman of the publicity committee. This will be my first year with the health fair, and I get to work closely with my fellow classmates, both in the publicity and other committees. They bring amazing insight and creativity to coordinating the work required in organizing the fair, and I can’t wait to work with them in the future as a practicing physician. The health fair is completely student-run and can only succeed through the teamwork of the first-and second-year medical students.

Did you have any medical experience prior to entering JABSOM?

Before entering medical school I volunteered with the Hawaii H.O.M.E. Project run by Dr. Jill Omori, which consists of student-run health clinics at three homeless shelters around the island. I helped with the registration and intake of patients, and this is one of the ways I was able to expose myself to the health issues of certain populations on Oahu. Now that I’m a medical student, I help treat some of the patients in these same shelters. As I’m just starting, I only handle vital signs and basic consultation with the patients on their chief complaints, and afterward I shadow third-year medical students as they further help the patients. It’s been an amazing experience thus far and helps reaffirm my choice to go into medicine.

What is the purpose of the health fair?

The health fair is an annual event supported by JABSOM’s interclass council and planned and run by first- and second-year medical students. The goal of the health fair is to promote health and wellness, as well as help JABSOM achieve its mission to train competent and compassionate physicians to serve the unique needs of Hawaii. The fair provides broad community exposure to health-related organizations, and a chance for students and local health organizations to work together to promote health awareness to the people of Oahu.

We hope to achieve this by informing medical students about community resources, facilitating networking and outreach opportunities between community organizations and medical professionals, and strengthening the relationship between JABSOM and the local community as a way to foster patient-oriented care early in our medical careers.

Similar to the goals of any community health fair, we aim to distribute accurate and current information to the fair’s participants, provide experts in various health fields to discuss current health topics and engage participants with interactive displays and games.

What services does the fair offer?

Services offered this year will include the following:

* 50 community health organizations with booths promoting health awareness

* Blood Bank of Hawaii blood drive

* Blood pressure screenings, glucose screenings, influenza vaccines

* Retina screenings performed by the Project Vision team

* Health Information Resources workshop by JABSOM librarians

* Door prizes for evaluation participation

* Zumba and exercise demonstrations

* Live entertainment provided by JABSOM students

Where and when does the fair happen?

The fair will take place Jan. 4 from noon to 3 p.m. at John A. Burns School of Medicine (651 Ilalo St.).

Has it changed much over the past eight years since it’s been in existence?

The fair has been growing each year, especially with the help of community media contacts, and this year’s health fair will include some new features including a meditation session, exercise and Zumba demos as well as a talk by Dr. Terry Shintani.

Whom is the fair geared toward?

The fair is open to everyone and is geared toward anyone interested in participating. The variety of organizations and activities at the fair ensures there really is something for everyone. We hope to have another great turnout like we did last year, and are working hard to make this health fair the best one yet.

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