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Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows offered screenings and health workshops to underserved Camden residents.

Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows offered screenings and health workshops to underserved Camden residents.

The Greater Philadelphia area may have lost out on a World Series title this time around, but luckily, it’s still home to a champion team of Schweitzer Fellows. OK, that’s a little cheesy (and probably not an enormous consolation to diehard Phils fans). But there’s no denying the fact that the current crop of Greater Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows — whose service projects tackle everything from diabetes prevention to domestic violence outreach —  are dedicating themselves to giving the area’s underserved communities something to cheer about.

Case in point: last month, five Schweitzer Fellows held a service day at the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Farmer’s Market in Camden, which serves primarily underserved populations. Over 100 Camden residents came out for the event, where the Fellows checked blood pressures and blood glucose levels (see photo below).


Schweitzer Fellow Farhad Modarai carried out blood pressure and glucose screenings.

The Fellows also led a series of targeted prevention workshops:

  • Usha Kumar and Alex Potashinsky (Drexel University) offered one-on-one counseling on preventive wound care. In addition to handing out hygiene supplies like  soap and nail clippers, they discussed reducing drug use, implementing better hygiene routines, and finding ways to exercise.
  • Spurred by the CDC’s finding that falls are the main cause of injury death in  older adults, Hyun Ouk Hong (UMDNJ) manned a table on fall prevention. He distributed educational pamphlets provided by the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, and also offered workshops on the subject.
  • Troubled by many Camden residents’ lack of access to healthy foods, Farhad Modarai (UMDNJ) manned a table offering fruits and vegetables (as well as educational materials on nutrition). Additionally, he held workshops focused on how to make eating healthy foods budget-friendly.
  • Valencia Barnes (UMDNJ) and several UMDNJ dentists offered on-site oral health/cancer screenings for area residents — both children and adults. Children were screened for oral hygiene, tooth irregularities, and other pediatric dental issues; adults were screened for oral cancers, oral hygiene, and tooth decay.

Dr. Shawn Kelly performed oral health screenings on children and adults in attendance.