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UM Interdisciplinary Class Organizes Family Health Fair for West Baltimore

Students at the University of Maryland (UM) Schools of Social Work, Law, and Nursing organized a family health fair held in West Baltimore on Saturday, March 26. They were members of an interdisciplinary class taught in January to bring together students from each of the six schools at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

They were joined by health experts from the School of Medicine and by representatives of the Baltimore City Health Department as well as by many people from nonprofit organizations and the community.

Residents of neighborhoods not far from the University's Baltimore City location received health tips and resources on subjects such as early childhood development and nutrition. Speakers and vendors also provided information on issues that ranged from saving for college to teen motherhood.

There were activities for kids, food, and a raffle of items such a portable crib and an infant car seat.

Rachel Donegan, a student from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, explained the health fair in this video:

Yvette Rooks, MD, assistant professor in the Family and Community Medicine Department at the School of Medicine, was accompanied by medical residents who staffed a table to offer medical facts and advice.

Patricia Bell-McDuffie, DDS '87, the director of oral health services at the Baltimore City Health Department, was accompanied by her staff dental hygienist, Jamika Yochim. They focused on small children but included youth in general. Students from the Hispanic Students Association in the Dental School staffed another table.

Bronwyn Mayden, MSW, assistant dean of continuing education at the School of Social Work (SSW) and executive director of Promise Heights, also participated. Promise Heights is an initiative led by the SSW in West Baltimore that is based at Furman L. Templeton Elementary School, which is across Pennsylvania Avenue and attached by a walkway to Robert Marshall Recreation Center, where the fair was held.

The event was organized by UM students who are enrolled in a multidisciplinary class conducted by the SSW Maternal and Child Health program. Each year students from every school take the course so they can learn to work together in an interprofessional manner. This year's course has a theme of reducing infant mortality.

Sonal Vyas, a participant in that class, describes the class and the creation of the health fair in this video:

Co-organizers of the fair are SSW students Donegan and Vyas. Other members of the course who helped put on the fair are SSW students Treshona Saxton and Christine Irwin; School of Law students Lauren Levy and Megan O'Connor; and School of Nursing student Margaret Greenwald, RN.

Posting Date: 03/26/2011
Contact Name: Ed Fishel
Contact Phone: 410-706-3801
Contact Email: efishel@umaryland.edu