Implementation and Evaluation of a Recurring Interdisciplinary Community Health Fair in a Remote U.S.–Mexico Border Community
The purpose of this project was to design, implement, and assess a recurring interdisciplinary community health fair in an underserved border town. University of California San Diego (UCSD) medical and pharmacy students, under faculty supervision, worked alongside community partners in Calexico, California to implement a health fair two miles from the U.S.–Mexico border. Demographic and screening data were described from 293 participants from 2014 to 2016. Over 90% (269/293) listed Mexico as their country of birth, 82.9% (243/293) were monolingual Spanish speakers, 75.4% (221/293) had an annual household income of ≤ $20,000, and 58.7% (172/293) described their health as fair or poor. Screening revealed 91.1% (265/291) were overweight or obese, 37.8% (109/288) had hypertension, 9.3% (27/289) had elevated blood sugar, and 11.4% (33/289) had elevated total cholesterol levels. This model could be replicated in other training settings to increase exposure to border health issues and connect patients to local health services.
KeywordsHealth fair Border health Latino Underserved Medical education
This research was supported by the University of California School of Medicine and the Physician Assessment and Clinical Education (PACE) grant. We thank Santo Tomas Swap Meet for the support and generosity in hosting our health fairs year after year. We thank our colleagues Marcela Zhou, Eduardo Fricovsky Pharm D., and Clara Padron-Spence MD who provided their service in the successful implementation of this project. We also thank all medical, pharmacy, and high school volunteers, as well as all the community organizations that have partnered with us in offering their resources and time.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was reviewed and approved as exempt by the UCSD Institutional Review Board.
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