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320 Children Provided Free Backpacks and Health Care Resources During Back To School Family Affair at UTHSC

Second-year pharmacy students Brian Cao (left) and Jason Zeng educated students and their families about asthma. (Photo by Peggy Reisser/UTHSC)

More than 320 students received free medical screenings, immunizations, and health information Saturday at the 31st annual Back to School Family Affair put on by Omega Ministries/Omega Healthy Practices and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

A participant celebrates his new bike donated by community partners.

Faculty, staff, and students from multiple colleges at UTHSC were on hand, to offer oral health education, eye examinations, blood pressure checks, healthy eating information and more. Various participating community partners gave information on the importance of immunizations, safety for children, and health education. A total of 116 free school physicals were also given.

The event was held from 9 to 1 p.m. in the UTHSC Student-Alumni Center. Each child received a free backpack filled with school supplies. An additional 100 backpacks were donated by UTHSC to the Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program, which provides support and services to children who are being cared for relatives because their parents are unable to do so. Bikes and helmets donated by community partners were also given away.

“We were pleased with the community turnout, given the excitement across the entire campus to support the health fair and the increased number of health fairs available in the community,” said Peg Thorman Hartig, PhD, APN-BC, FAANP, professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing, who has participated since the event’s inception. “Everything was well managed.”