Medical Students Organize Health Fair in Southwest Philly
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Students Support Philly Community at Southwest Health Fair


February 25, 2022

PCOM medical students volunteered to provide free health screenings and provide community service in Southwest PhiladelphiaRecently, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) students partnered with local organizations to address the healthcare needs and social determinants of health of the southwest Philadelphia community at the first-ever Southwest Health Fair at the 48th and Woodland Playground. In partnership with other community organizations, PCOM osteopathic medical students offered various health services, including HIV screening and prevention, behavioral health information, dental health outreach, information on vaccines, blood pressure and glucose screenings, and free produce and pantry staples distribution.

The PCOM student organizers of this inaugural event were Deanna Gorgei (DO '22), Arianna Gray (DO '24), Raushaun Williams (DO '24) and Maggie Hurley (DO '24). Ms. Gorgei lives in southwest Philadelphia and currently serves as secretary of the 48th and Woodland Playground Advisory Council and was instrumental in bringing this event to fruition.

PCOM students worked with Southwest Philadelphia community leaders to organize the health fair eventWhen asked what this event meant to her, Ms. Gorgei shared, “I learned a lot about what it means to engage in the community and what goes into building relationships necessary to engage in a meaningful way. It takes a long time and consistently showing up and engaging to build these relationships. My neighborhood has a long history of activism and engagement. This is a community where people know each other and look after each other. I feel really lucky to be involved and to be able to connect resources from PCOM to this community. With the pandemic, there's been a lack of in-person events, and I think that we were all so grateful to be able to safely have an in-person event that brought everyone out in such a positive way.”

PCOM’s Student National Medical Association and Medicine for Education clubs also contributed time and resources to make the event a success. In addition to the variety of health screenings that the fair offered, several PCOM organizations and local businesses donated to the event’s raffle: the raffle included kid’s bikes, grocery store gift cards and wireless earbuds. Additionally, local elected officials were present to engage with the community to understand their needs better and connect community members with resources.

PCOM students also provided spoke about vaccine awareness with Philadelphia residentsPCOM’s President’s Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) also supported this event with handouts such as tote bags, books for kids, tablecloths, hand sanitizer, masks, and signs for the event. Flo Byarms, director of the CWI, was also present at the event and connected with the Woodland Playground Advisory Council. The goal moving forward is to host an event like this annually.

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  • About the Community Wellness Initiative

    With a strong commitment to student volunteer efforts and community wellness, PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, established the Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) to enhance the culture of holistic health and well-being on PCOM’s campuses and in the communities they serve. The CWI aims to promote cross-campus collaboration in educational and health services programming and resources to support the physical, mental, nutritional and environmental wellness of the College’s communities in Philadelphia and in Suwanee and Moultrie, Georgia. Focus areas include direct patient care, health and wellness education, and clinical and community-based research.

    About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

    For more information, contact:
    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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