The Vietnamese Cancer Awareness Research Education Society (VNCARES) Committee organized the 6th Annual Pacific Family Health Fair which took place on March 10th, at the St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Stockton. We spent months planning, contacting vendors, organizing volunteers, advertising and much more to ensure a successful health fair.

vncares2We started off the semester representing the School and VNCARES at Stockton’s 35th Annual Chinese New Year Parade. On the day of the event, we lined up with other Stockton organizations and paraded through the streets of Downtown Stockton, passing out fliers and informing the spectators about the health fair. According to Thuan Tran ‘15, first year external co-chair, “this was a great opportunity to reach out to the Stockton community and inform them about what VNCARES and the School have to offer.”

Not only did we spend time reaching out to the Stockton community, but we also went to schools in the Lodi, Lincoln, and Stockton school districts to promote our art and essay contest. This year the students were asked to write an essay or present a work of art that described “who is your hero, and how have they inspired you to be healthy and strong.” We spent countless hours going over more than one hundred entries. It was quite the task selecting the winners, but a challenge we gladly accepted. During the Pacific Family Health Fair VNCARES, with the help of Dean Phillip Oppenheimer, Dr. Nancy DeGuire ‘89, Dean Brigid Welch, Dean Lynn Beck, and Provost Maria Pallavicini, was able to proudly present twelve students certificates and prizes for being selected as winners of the contest. Although this contest was meant to inspire and motivate the children of Stockton to be healthy, we “found that reading the entries has inspired us to continue to be healthy and advocate for our profession of pharmacy,” said Wayne Chen ‘15, first year internal co-chair.

The Pacific Family Health Fair was an event for all ages. Not only did we have the art and essay contest for the children, but there were plenty of other activities in the Kid’s Corner. Activities include reading with Book Buddies, taking pictures with PowerCat, touring the Stockton Fire Department’s fire truck, learning about healthy eating and much more. These activities kept the children occupied while their parents and guardians visited the many educational and health screening booths offered by Pacific students and local Stockton organizations.vncares

This year we are excited to say that the health fair attracted nearly 440 attendees. Of this, we provided free services to 56 patients for dental screenings, five for medication reviews, four for medication assistance, 77 for bone mineral density screenings, eight for smoking cessation, 25 for asthma screenings, 134 for blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, 170 for diabetes screenings, and 13 for anemia screenings. We are excited to continue to grow this event and look forward to reaching out to the Stockton community.

There is no time to rest; the VNCARES team is excited to start planning our next health fair which will take place during the summer months.


By Stephanie Ham ‘15
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