University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate students from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work and School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene recently organized the first Papakōlea Community Health Fair for elderly residents and their families.
“We wanted to help kūpuna access services that are available to them, but that they may not know about,” says co-organizer Cecilia Gregory. The event featured activities for a wide age range since assisting elders often means working with families, she adds.
In addition to information on services like Meals on Wheels, the fair included activities to promote a healthy lifestyle—such as exercise options, cooking demonstrations, diabetes education, alternative health practices and tips on reading food labels.
UH pre-medical students provided information on smoking cessation and nurses from a local clinic did blood pressure checks. The event also included live music, hula performances and a farmers’ market.
“It was such a success, we already have the date for next year and will partner with Lincoln Elementary School to do it bigger and better,” says Adrienne Dillard, executive director of Kula no na Poʻe Hawaiʻi, a community group that works with UH on graduate student practicum projects in Oʻahu’s Papakōlea neighborhood.