Back to School Family Affair Provides Services For 625 Community Children

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The Back To School Family Affair served more than 600 children during this year’s event on July 14. (Photo by Janice P. Cooper)

The 30th annual Back to School Family Affair held at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s Student-Alumni Center July 14 provided free services to 625 children in the Memphis community. In addition to medical services, screenings and immunizations, participants also received backpacks filled with school supplies.

UTHSC donated 500 free backpacks filled with school supplies. (Photo by Janice P. Cooper)

Five hundred of them were donated by UTHSC. Another 100 were donated by FedEx, while an additional 200 were donated by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Free bikes were given away on a first come, first served basis. The bikes were donated by Firestone Dental, Noah Boyd Lodge #368, and the Brian Callies Foundation.

The event was hosted by Omega Ministries/Omega Healthy Practices and the Healthcare Organizations of Greater Memphis Coalition.

“The health fair this past weekend was very successful with providing preschool physicals to 139 children,” said Peg Thorman Hartig, PhD, APN-BC, FAANP, professor in the UTHSC College of Nursing, who along with many UTHSC faculty, has assisted with the event for many years. “We appreciated the support of Dr. Rhonda Johnson, who once again represented the Memphis Medical Society for provider support.”

HEI representatives educate participants on eye health. (Photo provided by Garry Shaw, Sr.)

Examinations were provided by UTHSC College of Nursing faculty with help from nursing and pharmacy students, who checked blood pressures. College of Nursing alumni, the Hamilton Eye Institute, Physician Assistant Studies students, and representatives from the Common Table Health Alliance were also on hand to assist.

“Our UTHSC faculty was very helpful in providing insight in their areas of expertise to our participants,” Dr. Hartig said. “Dr. Tim Self and the Operation Breathe group from the College of Pharmacy was once again close by to help with questions about asthma. Dr. Marjorie Woods of the College of Dentistry led a group of dentistry students and faculty, as well as faculty and students from other disciplines and other community partners.”

The most common issue discovered in school age examinations was high blood pressure. Other areas of concern were enlarged tonsils, obesity, dental issues, and ear infections. Follow-up phone calls will be made to encourage re-evaluation of the children by their primary care provider.