Rutgers Students Perform Free Health Screenings

Katie Stump, a second year student in the Rutgers School of Health Professions physician assistant program in Piscataway conduts health screenings.  Credits: Nick Romanenko/ Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Megan Wheatley, a  Rutgers School of Health Professions Physician Assistant student in Piscataway, performs free health screenings.  Credits: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

More than 50 students, faculty, and staff from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences programs provided health screenings and referral services at the Newark District Downtown Farmers Market on Thursday, July 14 as part of an effort to keep the community healthy and well.

On a bright sunny day, workers on lunch break, children off from school and people buying fresh produce stopped to learn about community wellness services and get their health checked at tables manned by Rutgers at the market at PSE&G Plaza.

Using spirometers, respiratory therapists-in-training checked lung function, while physician assistant students measured blood pressures. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School students offered children the chance to perform health check-ups on Teddy Bears. Visitors left clutching educational pamphlets and coloring books, sunscreen, water bottles and more.

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The Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Rutgers 250 committee brought the health screenings to the farmer’s market as a way to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the 350th anniversary of the city of Newark. Rutgers also performed health checks on June 9, the first time ever that the university has participated in the downtown farmer’s market.

“We are so pleased to provide resources to help keep residents healthy,” said Gwendolyn Mahon, dean of the Rutgers School of Health Professions, and co-chair of the RBHS Rutgers 250 committee. “At Rutgers, we place a high value on community service. Giving students an opportunity to participate in the health fair is in an important part of their learning experience.”

Participating RBHS schools included: Physician Assistant Program, School of Health Professions, Piscataway;

Respiratory Care, School of Health Professions, Newark; New Jersey Medical School, Newark;

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway; Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Piscataway;

University Behavioral Health Care, Newark; School of Nursing – Community Health Clinic, Newark;

Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Newark; and Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience – Rutgers-Newark.

The Physician Assistant table, with two faculty members and seven students, had a steady stream of visitors and performed about 100 health screenings.

“Our students were very excited to interact with the downtown Newark community. For them, it was also a chance to connect to people one-on-one and educate them on the benefits of healthy eating, regular exercise and regular visits to their primary care physicians,” said Thea Cogan-Drew, a faculty member in the Physician Assistant program.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences has eight schools located on campuses in Newark, New Brunswick, Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Somerset, Stratford, and other locations, as well as five centers and institutes and a behavioral care network. For more information about the many program, please visit the website.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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