OHSU students to participate in Health Care Equality Week

O'Bryant Square Clinic 2011For 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.

UPDATE: Success! OHSU students provide screenings for 275 people. Watch the video on OHSU StudentSpeak.

For information about the 2011 effort, read this OHSU media release or view this YouTube video.