Student-Run Health Fairs to Target Underserved Communities

The first of a series of health fairs organized and run by graduate students at Yale School of Medicine, the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Nursing will be held in New Haven on February 28, targeting underserved neighborhoods with screening, educational and social services.

The Yale Health Initiation Task Force (YHIT) will host the first health fair February 28 in the Church Street South Apartments Community Center, opposite Union Station at 34 Cinque Grn. in New Haven. The fair will run from noon to 4:30 p.m. All services are free and open to the public and appointments are not necessary.

The health fairs will have three goals:

  • Conduct screenings for common health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and various eye diseases.
  • Provide education on nutrition and the management and mechanisms of various chronic medical illnesses.
  • Make advocacy and social service resources (including counseling on medical debt and education on private and public health care assistance programs) readily available.

Mikhail C.S.S. Higgins, a student in the M.P.H. program at the Yale School of Public Health, and C. Brandon Ogbunugafor, an M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the Yale School of Medicine, are coordinating the project. It is part of a newly developed campus-wide effort to promote health and wellness in low-income communities by building relationships between Yale students and New Haven residents.

“We want to promote the wellness of people in our neighboring communities who are marginalized by systemic and financial barriers to healthcare. Our function is to coordinate the efforts of healthcare providers and patient advocates to make their services more accessible to all New Haven residents,” Higgins said.

To ensure that individuals who are screened get connected with necessary health services, YHIT will have clinicians at the fair to discuss each participant’s results as well as to direct them to onsite staff from the Hill Health Center for follow-up care. Hill Health Center representatives and advocates from the Connecticut Health Policy Project will be available to discuss affordable ways to seek health care options in New Haven through enrollment in public and private assistance programs.

There will be prize giveaways, free food and refreshments, and entertainment for children. Other fairs will be held periodically throughout the year.

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Media Contact

Helen Dodson: helen.dodson@yale.edu, 203-436-3984

Michael Greenwood: michael.greenwood@yale.edu, 203-737-5151