Helping enhance families’ health awareness at African American Health Expo

By Rebecca Najera and Betsy Friauf

UNTHSC’s mission to create healthier communities means we’re here to help families improve their health awareness.

One way we do this every year is providing health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, and other services, at the African American Health Expo. This year’s event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the gym of Tarrant County College South Campus, 5301 Campus Dr., in Fort Worth.

Though the Expo focuses on issues of special concern to African Americans, it’s open to all. This year’s theme is “Health Disparities: From Awareness to Action.” UNTHSC students, staff and faculty from multiple departments are volunteering.

Now in its 19th year, the Expo brings together a multitude of resources, including social services and health services.

African American Health Expo

Saturday, April 27
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tarrant County College South Campus gym
5301 Campus Drive, Fort Worth

“Putting all these under one roof where it’s convenient for attendees to visit them is really great for the community,” said Misty Wilder, Senior Program Manager for Healthy Start and the Expo’s logistics chair.

Christina Robinson, MD, will be on hand to show attendees how they can use UNTHSC’s Pediatric Mobile Clinic for no-cost health care for their children. The mobile clinic also will offer health awareness activities such as “rethink your drink” on replacing sugary beverages with seltzer water, low-fat milk and other drinks; how to select healthy foods; and how various human organs work.

Dr. Robinson emphasizes that the Expo offers services for all ages.

“If we adults don’t have good health, we won’t be able to take care of our kids,” she said. “The Expo is a way for us to open the conversation with the grown-ups about why taking care of themselves is important, and at the Expo we show them resources available to them.”

UNTHSC’s Lewis Health Science Library will bring information on health literacy and accessing quality health information, said Community Engagement Librarian Lorraine Sheldon, MSIS.

At the Expo, Library staff will provide information on upcoming classes including:

  • Astronaut Academy: Health & Exercise (for children) Have you wondered what it would take to live on the moon or in space? Through narratives centered around the mysteries of space travel, this class combines educational activities, demonstrations and art to help kids learn health literacy relating to nutrition and exercise. It will be offered 18 times this summer through a partnership with the public libraries in Fort Worth and Weatherford and social service agencies.
  • Truth or Trash: Health Information Online (for adults) Finding trustworthy health information from local and national resources can be difficult. This class is designed to help sort it out. The course will be offered at the Fort Worth Public Library.

Expo attendees also will have an opportunity to learn about a new resource the Library is developing. Called the HOPE Directory, it will list local health organizations and their programs and events.

“This will be promoted at the African American Health Expo so community members can find local, free services provided by over a hundred organizations in the Tarrant County area,” Sheldon said. “We are very excited about its potential to help our community.”

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