For years, OHSU students have organized a week of lectures and volunteer events to educate about disparities in the U.S. health care system, culminating in a weekend fair that provides free health screenings to hundreds of Oregonians who lack adequate insurance.
The event used to be part of a national Cover the Uninsured Week sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That effort ended in 2011 after eight successful years. But OHSU students, recognizing that a huge percentage of Americans still seek access to health care, are continuing the effort under a new name: Health Care Equality Week.
This year's events include a series of talks from March 5 through March 9, with the health screening fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at O'Bryant Square park in downtown Portland on March 11.
Hills for Humanity
The 8th annual Hills for Humanity Trail Run/Hike is April 21. Register soon! Organized by medical students as a benefit for Health Care Equality Week.
At the fair, more than 100 student volunteers from OHSU's Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and the Pharmacy program, Portland State University, Oregon State University and elsewhere will offer basic health screenings such as blood pressure checks; hearing and vision care; diabetic foot screenings; women's health advice; illness education; dental care and items including cough drops and condoms, floss and first-aid kits.
Volunteer community doctors and dentists will attend the event to treat people; referrals for free specialty or follow-up care will also be made when necessary. Haircuts and pet care are other popular offerings at the fair, which is followed at 3 p.m. by the weekly Potluck in the Park meal at O'Bryant Square.
Health Care Equality Week Lecture Schedule
- 3/5 Health Literacy, Inequities, & Disparities: Re-envisioning Patient-centered Care
- 3/6 Addressing a Silent Epidemic: Oral Health Disparities and the Burden of Dental Disease in the U.S. and OR
- 3/7 Promising Practices for Serving LGBTQ Youth Experiencing Homelessness: Learning from the Field
- 3/8 What Role Should Clinicians Play in Addressing Racial & Cultural Health Care Disparities?
- 3/9 Women's Health in Communities with Barriers to Care
All lectures are from noon to 1 p.m. Please check individual lecture for speaker and location information.