Rochester Medical Students Organize Health Fair at School No. 7

October 17, 2007

More than 60 University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry students and community workers will hold a health fair Saturday Oct. 20 for children, their parents, and the Maplewood community at Virgil Grissom School No. 7, 31 Bryan Street, Rochester.

The fair, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will include booths and activities addressing injury prevention, healthy diets, dental hygiene, access to health insurance programs, smoking prevention and other health issues.

The health fair is part of a collaborative effort between the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation’s largest, independent medical student organization. It takes place during National Primary Care Week (NPCW), an annual campaign funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions. The national campaign is “Community-Based Primary Care: Promoting Justice in Health.”

For the past three years, Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry students have organized a health fair for the children participating in their Saturday School Program.  The program is an initiative researched and created by medical students and funded through an Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) grant. The program helps more than 100 elementary school students at risk of failing their core subjects.  Medical students provide two hours of one-on-one tutoring for topics such as math, science, and reading every Saturday morning. 

“This is a great opportunity to have medical students and other community workers educate children and their families about health care related issues,” says Brian Jenssen, third year medical student and local AMSA member. “Also, by having this fair as part of NPCW, we hope to raise awareness about a robust primary care physician workforce being inextricably linked to a healthy national health care system.”

For the U.S. health care system to function well, AMSA believes that 50 percent of the nation's medical school graduates should be choosing primary care fields, including family medicine, general internal medicine, and pediatrics. For more information on NPCW or background on the decreasing primary care physician workforce, visit AMSA's Web site at http://www.amsa.org/programs/npcw/.

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