Augusta University students volunteer at annual health fair
AUGUSTA, Ga. – With a higher mortality rate than most other industrial jobs, farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. But access to preventive screenings may reduce risks of illness and injury.
More than 300 farmworkers will receive free screenings Friday at the 11th annual health fair at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, S.C. This event, hosted by the Augusta University College of Nursing, provides valuable health information for farmworkers as well as hands-on opportunities for education and research for faculty and students.
“The whole focus is to make healthy communities. It’s why we volunteer our time,” said Dr. Pam Cromer, associate professor of biobehavioral nursing and director of Costa Layman community health projects in the Augusta University College of Nursing.
Over the past decade, the health fair has provided more than 2,500 free screenings for farmworkers. What began with simple blood pressure checks has grown to incorporate comprehensive health checks including skin, vision, dental, respiratory, blood pressure, HIV and bone density screenings; nutrition counseling; lab work; and occupational and physical therapy.
“This program began with the vision of College of Nursing faculty, students and alumni, but has evolved into a large and growing interdisciplinary effort, with volunteers from across the institution coordinating to provide care,” said Dr. Lucy Marion, nursing dean. “At Costa Layman, our students refine their skills outside the classroom in the real-world setting of the farm, while the university plays an important role in community-based disease prevention. It’s an incredible experience for everyone who participates.”
The Medical College of Georgia, Dental College of Georgia, College of Allied Health Sciences, Georgia Prevention Institute, Georgia Cancer Center, Interpreter and Translation Services, and the Ryan White Program provide support for health screenings.
“Every year I’m absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by the effort put in to make this health fair a success,” said Debbie Layman, College of Nursing alumna. “The time invested into annual preventive health screenings pays dividends for workers. They leave empowered to make decisions about their health. The dedication of the university is improving lives.”
WHAT: Costa Layman Health Fair; 9-11 a.m., Friday, July 22
WHERE: Costa Layman Nurseries, 73 Greenhouse Road, Trenton, S.C. From I-20, take Exit 5 onto Highway 25. In 11 miles, turn right onto Greenhouse Road. Turn right into the nursery and look for the large tan building on the right past the greenhouses. The farm is located about 30 minutes from downtown Augusta.
CONTACT: Call Kelly Jasper at 706-513-0719 if you are interested in covering this event.