Penn State Care Fairs
Penn State General Clinical Research Center hold free Penn State Care Fairs—held at the Broad Street Market in Harrisburg and Iglesia el Faro church in Lebanon—provide a Penn State Hershey presence in communities with underserved health needs. The fairs also personalize the institution’s, departments and the research studies frequently advertised to the public.
In only six hours, volunteer staff from the Medical Center made a difference in the health of many people, including:
- Diagnosing four cases of asthma and two cases of undiagnosed restrictive airway disease;
- Counseling nine people regarding elevated blood pressure;
- Counseling nine people regarding nutrition and diet;
- Giving away twenty-one Diabetes Playbooks;
- Providing nine families with identification materials for CHIP;
- Counseling thirty-six people for cancer concerns;
- Screening twenty-seven people for skin cancer risk with four individuals receiving counseling due to increased risk, detected via Dermascan; and
- Screening twelve people for research study participation.
At the Care Fair in Harrisburg, Paige Miller, a graduate student in nutrition at University Park, spoke to a woman about adding sources of calcium to her diet. The woman was spotted afterward in the market buying high-calcium vegetables for her family, providing immediate feedback for event staff that their efforts make a difference in the community, according to Chanty Webb, R.N., B.S.N., minority recruiter at Penn State General Clinical Research Center at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and health fair organizer. “The priority has changed from how many participants we can recruit from this event to how we can establish a good name for ourselves and prove we can be trusted in the minority community,” Webb said. “Only by giving personal attention to every person we come into contact with can we build a record of trust. Then we receive the best PR there is—word of mouth.”