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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

College of Pharmacy helps El Rio residents

Ernie Somoza/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

From left Isel Padilla, 4, Stehfan Chacon, 12, Ana Padilla, 43, Tucson, receive candy from Michaela Johnson-Clague, a doctoral candidate of pharmacy, wearing a Kangaroo suit in order to raise awareness to families about medicine being mistaken for candy. The college of pharmacy worked in conjunction with El Rio Neighborhood Health and Safety Fair to put on their Womens Health Expo on Sunday.
Ernie Somoza
Ernie Somoza/ Arizona Daily Wildcat From left Isel Padilla, 4, Stehfan Chacon, 12, Ana Padilla, 43, Tucson, receive candy from Michaela Johnson-Clague, a doctoral candidate of pharmacy, wearing a Kangaroo suit in order to raise awareness to families about medicine being mistaken for candy. The college of pharmacy worked in conjunction with El Rio Neighborhood Health and Safety Fair to put on their Women’s Health Expo on Sunday.

UA College of Pharmacy students joined with the El Rio Neighborhood Community Center to host the El Rio Neighborhood Center Health and Safety Fair on Saturday.

The fair featured local agencies, university health resources, education services and various tests and screenings for ailments, including asthma, high cholesterol and pulmonary irregularities.

“”We do the safety fair every year,”” said Mariela Vega, recreation assistant and special events coordinator for the community center. “”Every year, our goal is to get more agencies involved so we can provide more services to the community.””

According to Vega, 85 service groups and community partners were represented at the event, which was combined with the Women’s Health Expo, a yearly event sponsored by UA pharmacy students. 

“”(The pharmacy students) came to us this year asking if they could hold their event at our center on the same weekend as our safety fair,”” Vega said. “”Combining our two events just made sense.””

Stacey Zuleta, a third-year pharmacy graduate student who organized the Women’s Health Expo, agreed with Vega.

“”We’ve always done the Women’s Health Expo, but we’ve never gotten more than 300 people to attend,”” Zuleta said. “”We were looking for more exposure, but we didn’t have a lot of ability to advertise or draw people in so we decided to have our event with El Rio.””

Vega and Zuleta estimated that 1,000 people attended the four-hour fair.

“”I think it’s very important for people to come to events like this,”” Zuleta said. “”A lot of the time it’s very hard to get in to see a doctor. We provide a lot of information and screenings for free and even though we can’t give definitive diagnoses, we can definitely give doctors a guide for what they should do.””

Local agencies, including the National Parks Service, the Tucson Police Department and the UA University Physicians Healthcare, were also at the fair.

“”This is really the perfect opportunity to get our services out to the community,”” said Deborah Montgomery, the community and member outreach coordinator for University Family Care, a division of University Physicians Healthcare. “”Getting the word out, answering questions, and providing information for people, that’s what we’re doing here.””

According to Zuleta, more than 100 pharmacy students volunteered for the event in various capacities. Evan Hood, a first-year pharmacy graduate student, helped organize the three speakers for the event.

“”We want people to learn what pharmacists can do,”” Hood said. “”We don’t just give out medication and fulfill prescriptions, we can also do screenings. We want to increase awareness of the health disparities in the community.””

Libby Giesler, a second-year pharmacy graduate student, administered asthma screenings at the fair.

“”So many people have diseases, simple things that could be controlled,”” Giesler said. “”Our main effort here is to save people trips to the hospital, which saves them money in the end.””

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