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Georgia Southern students organize community health fairs in Chatham County

Waters College of Health Professions students organized health fairs in multiple locations in Chatham County, including one at Buckingham South assisted-living facility, shown above.
Waters College of Health Professions students organized health fairs in multiple locations in Chatham County, including one at Buckingham South assisted-living facility, shown above. 

More than 100 students from various disciplines in the Waters College of Health Professions at Georgia Southern University helped bridge wellness and the community earlier this year by organizing community health fairs at various locations in Chatham County. 

This is the second year that health professions students have organized these events for Chatham County residents. In addition to providing needed services and resources to the community, the health fairs provided students with an opportunity to collaborate with peers outside of their major.

“Studies have shown interprofessional collaboration significantly contributes to the quality of healthcare; however, teaching and practicing skills of effectively working together is logistically difficult,” said Janet Buelow, Ph.D, professor of health sciences. “Most students leave universities without the knowledge or practice of working with other healthcare professionals. This event significantly contributes to our health profession students’ education by providing the avenue to practice working with a variety of health professions students.”

One of the health fairs organized by Georgia Southern students was earlier this year at Beach High School in Savannah.
One of the health fairs organized by Georgia Southern students was earlier this year at Beach High School in Savannah.

Through their coursework, students majoring in nursing, gerontology, athletic training, sonography, sports medicine, and speech and language pathology were tasked with working together to create brochures and health activities that were used during the fairs.

“It takes commitment, time and effort to give our students a true interprofessional experience,” said Buelow. “The involved faculty truly believe in interprofessional collaboration and have put in the effort to practice it.” 

Recent Master of Health Administration graduate Madhurima Pagdaloo (’20) was one of the site leaders at the health fair held at Morningside Assisted Living. 

“My preparation for the health fair involved extensive market research to understand the needs of the senior residents,” Pagdaloo said. “My goal was to develop a good project plan and make sure tasks and deadlines were met.”

Pagdaloo, who managed a team of 21 health professions students to plan the health fairs, noted communication was key to the event’s success. 

“It was a great experience to work with different individuals and have the opportunity to engage with the residents,” Pagdaloo said. “The project helped many people evolve to see their true potential in terms of leadership and management.”

In addition to Morningside Assisted Living, the health fairs were held at Beach High School, and assisted-living facilities,  Buckingham South and John-Wesley Villas.

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