Annual Health Fair Serves Up Free Screenings and Services to San Francisco Seniors
More than 200 seniors in San Francisco recently benefitted from and enjoyed a day of free health screenings, services and consultations provided by volunteers from University of the Pacific’s health sciences programs and local community partners.
The 28th Annual Senior Smiles and Wellness Health Fair, a long-standing tradition created by the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, was held May 6 on the San Francisco campus. Over the years the event has grown to include a wide range of interprofessional partners and organizations. This year’s fair included volunteers from Pacific’s dentistry, audiology, physical therapy, clinical nutrition and social work programs.
Adults age 55+ were invited to receive free screenings for dental care, hearing exams, blood glucose and blood pressure testing, diabetes screenings and consultations about nutrition and balance and fall prevention. COVID-19 vaccine booster shots were also available. Participants enjoyed complimentary refreshments, friendly conversations, and free prevention gift bags with health products.
“Our primary goal for health fair attendees is to provide health risk assessments with targeted referrals and resources to local services,” said Christine E. Miller, RDH, MHS, MA, FADPD, associate professor and director of Community Health Programs at the Dugoni School. “The fair theme emphasizes the oral-systemic connection to promote general health and wellness. Students remark about their satisfaction of this active unique collaboration with fellow health professionals to benefit low-income seniors on fixed incomes.”
Volunteers included representatives from the San Francisco City and County Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS); University of the Pacific’s Dugoni School of Dentistry and School of Health Sciences (Audiology, Physical Therapy, Clinical Nutrition and Social Work departments); UC Berkeley’s Volunteer Health Interpreters Organization; staff translators of the Dugoni School’s Pediatric Dentistry team; NICOS Chinese Health Coalition (Covered CA Certified Enrollment Counseling Services); and California Connect (Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program).
Before the start of the health fair, the volunteer students and faculty members participated in an interactive meeting focused on interprofessional education among health care providers.
The event was organized by several officers from the Dugoni School’s Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) program, a student-run volunteer community health service organization at the dental school.
“As one of the health fair directors for this event, it was extremely gratifying to see all of our efforts in planning and organizing come to fruition,” said Katie Hagan, DDS ’24. “I am grateful that we had the opportunity to work with other health professions to provide services and resources for these clients, who often have more difficulty accessing quality healthcare. After seeing over two hundred patrons during the event, it has served as a reminder that there are many out there in our community who have health needs that are not being met. I look forward to taking part in more community health events in the future to address these needs in our communities.”
The event planning committee thanks many local organizations for donating in-kind products or services, including San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, InterContinental San Francisco, Copynet, Colgate, James Standfield Catering and Mr. East Kitchen.