The educational and career pathways team provides guidance on STEM and healthcare career pathways and opportunities at UC Irvine. Carlos Puma

Hundreds attend Santa Ana health fair organized by UC Irvine’s Interprofessional Education & Practice Collaborative.

More than 200 Orange County residents had their cholesterol, vision, blood sugar and other vitals checked Sunday, April 7, at a free community health fair organized by UC Irvine’s Interprofessional Education & Practice Collaborative, which seeks to transform health professions education and health care delivery by fostering community-centered partnerships, collaborative learning, interprofessional research and continued interprofessional practice advancements.

Held at Santa Ana’s Second Baptist Church, the oldest African American congregation in the county, the event offered nutrition counseling, educational booths and additional health resources. Contributors from across campus included the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Early Academic Outreach Program.

Faculty from the IPEP Collaborative worked for several months to plan and organize a successful event. It was a true team effort led by Stephanie Au, assistant clinical professor of nursing; Nana Entsuah-Boateng, assistant clinical professor of pharmacy; Cheryl Wisseh, assistant clinical professor of pharmacy; Candice Whealon, clinical coordinator of nursing; Paola German, clinical instructor of nursing and Alisa Wray, professor of medicine.

It was the first of what collaborative members hope will be an annual clinic. On the day of the event, the UCI team, which comprised 55 members including 43 medical, nursing, pharmacy and public health students, staffed the booths. Entsuah-Boateng said volunteers were eager to participate. “The student sign-up sheet was 75 percent full a few minutes after it was posted,” she notes.

The goal of the event was twofold: “The first aim was to help disadvantaged and at-risk residents by creating meaningful access to much needed resources in our community,” Entsuah-Boateng says, while the second was to “expose students in the Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences to using their knowledge to impact the underserved and improve health outcomes.”

On both counts, she adds, “this health fair was a major success.”