By Abigail Daniliuc
It is amazing how a vision can start, grow, morph, and is almost unreal when it becomes a reality. After months of planning and preparing for the Pre-Medicine and Pre-Dentistry Health Fair, it finally took place in the PUC gymnasium on May 21, 2017.
Initially, we started the event with the goal to consolidate the need for shadowing hours and networking opportunities of pre-professional students into one unifying event for everyone interested in health professions. However, at the end of the event it was clear God had another plan, which was to open our hearts and give the college the opportunity to soften the hearts of PUC’s students, as well as change the lives of the patients who came to be seen at the health fair. Our event sought to care for the person as a whole and our mission was reflected in our acts of service, from offering a brand new pair of glasses, educating on the importance of cholesterol management, sharing healthy food demonstrations, and gaining insight on what it means to lead a spiritually healthy life.
Basic medical, dental, and vision exams can cost over $50 at doctors’ office, so this turned out to be very beneficial for community members and students who were seen during the Health Fair. In the future, with more tools and resources, we hope to expand and provide a higher level of care and disease prevention to local communities such as Clearlake. Along with medical and dental providers, we can be equipped to deliver the highest care possible to those in need.
At the fair, both students and professionals spent their time instructing the patients about positive health behaviors, while providing preventive services. They also encouraged patients to receive medical and dental care from their community providers. Yet, while the health fair helped increase access to preventive health services and screenings, little health impact can be achieved without follow-up care. To address this gap, I hope you will be interested in next year’s health fair for another chance to open our doors to serve the community God has placed us in to be His hands and feet. When a vision finally becomes a reality and is able to bless God’s people, He gets to be glorified. I was touched by the positive responses from the aftermath of the health fair and that He was indeed glorified in this event. I am confident He will make a way for more similar community outreach events like the PMPD Health Fair to occur annually.
Special thanks goes out to all our volunteers and sponsors who helped this event take place. I would like to take the time to highlight some of the key contributors. Thank you to Fabio Maia and Holly Jeske for their constant encouragement, resourcefulness, and help with planning the details for the fair. We partnered with the St. Helena Hospital, Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, Cal Coast, Napa Solano Dental Society, Take 10, Paws for Healing, and Angwin Village Seventh-day Adventist Church. Also a special thanks to Dr. James Gearing, Dr. Isaac Chin, Dr. Wayne Ogata, Dr. Renee Tabiolo, Mr. Gilbert Lutes, and Mr. Jose Ponce for their time serving the community and for their donations of materials.
Lastly, I would like to thank the professors who helped spread the word about the fair to their classes. This event could also not have occurred without the help of the team of dedicated student volunteers. They did everything from setting the up the fair to helping the professional volunteers, and being so ready to plug in and assist wherever they were needed.