APAMSA conducts annual free health fair

Student members of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association teamed up Indian Association of Kansas City to conduct a free health fair at Blue Valley North High School on June 20.
Student members of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association teamed up with the Indian Association of Kansas City to conduct a free health fair at Blue Valley North High School on June 20.

APAMSA Health Fair 2015A crowd of more than 200 people filed through Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas, on June 20 to take part in free health screenings conducted by the School of Medicine’s Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association.

Student and faculty volunteers partnered with the Indian Association of Kansas City to conduct the annual IAKC Health Fair. The event offered screenings for a number of medical conditions, as well as providing basic health and wellness information.

“This is definitely APAMSA’s largest event of the year,” said Sanju Eswaran, MS 4, event co-chair. Vivek Vallurupalli, MS 3, Muhammad Alikhan, MS 3, and Roshani Desai, MS 3, all served as co-chairs, as well.

Nearly 50 students, faculty and community physician volunteers participated in the half-day event that was open to the entire community of Kansas City. Eswaran said that while the majority of those who came for the screenings were of Indian descent, the event drew people of different origins throughout the world.

Volunteers provided basic screenings for blood sugar, cholesterol and lipid panels, blood pressure, vision, body mass index, and dental hygiene. Many of the health care volunteers offered counseling about asthma and allergies, heart health, chiropractic care, mental wellness, cancer, pain, physician therapy, women’s health, as well as basic information on skin care, hair loss and nutrition.

There was also a new addition this year: yoga. The session emphasized the importance of  physical wellbeing and one’s mental health, Eswaran said.

APAMSA member Rmaah Memon, MS 2, said conducting the screenings and explaining the results to the patients helped reinforce the volunteers’ medical training while providing an important service to the community.

“Not only was that beneficial for our medical knowledge, but it also helped out IAKC members that otherwise would not have had these tests done,” she said. “There were several translators present, but I realized that a smile can go a long way when you don’t necessarily speak the same language.”