One of the goals of Liberty University Public Health Student Association (LUPHSA) is to promote health, wellness and disease prevention with the community all while sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Last year, LUPHSA was presented with a great health outreach opportunity to do just that! Initiated by Daniela Ortega in partnership with Nuevo Amanecer TRBC Spanish Campus Church and Iglesia Bautista Conexión, LUPHSA was able to serve an indigenous community in Richmond, Virginia called the Mixtecos. With an informal survey assessment and health screenings, it was found that the individuals served experienced high blood pressure, high body mass index (BMI) measurements, lack of family planning services, and lack of access to medical insurance and health care.
With the leadership and planning of Itza Prieto, this year, on December 10, 2016, LUPHSA members had the opportunity to return to Richmond and host a second health fair and screening event at Kingsland Baptist Church for the local Mixteco community. With the help of online donations and a fundraiser lead by Victoria Ramos, the team hosted medical insurance information, cholesterol, BMI and glucose screenings, a nutrition, physical activity and dental hygiene workshop, maternal health information and basic physicals from licensed medical doctors. With the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), a survey was distributed and data collected on those attending the health fair to understand the health needs and problems of the community. The information collected will be used to research future project and community action plans so that LUPHSA may continue to help the Mixteco community towards better health and overall well-being.
-by Sarafina Cooper