Urban Service Track Scholars Participate in Hartford Health Fair

The students provided free dental screenings to more than 120 people, as well as nutrition and oral hygiene education.

A Team of five 3rd year Dental students provided exams to more than 120 participants. Pictured: Himank Gupta, Eric Smith, Kadisha Khan,and Dr. Jennifer Jaskolka. (Petra Clark-Dufner/UConn Health Center Photo)

Students from the Urban Service Track participated in the 2nd annual Greater Hartford NAACP Health Fair at the Family Day Festival in Keney Park in Hartford Saturday. Supported by the Schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine and Student Services, the students provided free dental screenings to more than 120 people, as well as nutrition and oral hygiene education.

Say “ah” – Maggie Stevenson sharing a teaching moment with a young participant about the importance of brushing teeth twice daily. (Petra Clark-Dufner/UConn Health Center Photo)

At the invitation of Dr. Gary Rhule, the Health Fair Coordinator, the Urban Service Track joined other community partners to provide health promotion education and screenings at the event. The Greater Hartford NAACP Health Affairs Committee is committed to promoting health equity, to increasing health awareness, and to improving access to care for community residents. The Family Day Festival attracted over 1,500 community residents, with over 500 persons participating in the health fair activities.

“The students from the Urban Service Track were valued partners in delivering this needed service to the community, and we simply could not have done this work without them,” says Rhule. “Excellence, competence, compassion and community are four words that describe the level of professional service that the students provided.”

Second year medical students and Urban Health Scholars, Maggie Stevenson and Hien Le, teaching proper oral hygiene techniques to interested youth. (Petra Clark-Dufner/UConn Health Center Photo)

Rhule went on to say that when community residents were asked to describe their experience with the UConn students, they said, “I only wish all my doctors were like that – kind, caring, and compassionate. Please invite them back, more of them, and all the time.”

“To have a partner with such dedication and professionalism is exciting for the Greater Hartford NAACP,” adds Rhule. “The students from the Urban Service Track were the stars of this event. I only wish I could clone and send them forward throughout the entire health care system. If that were to happen, I am confident that health disparities would be a thing of the past.”

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