May 19, 2010
Nearly 75 Bay Area seniors are on their way to better health thanks to student and faculty volunteers from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. In celebration of Older Americans Month, the school's Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) volunteer group hosted a Senior Smiles Health Fair on May 15. The event provided an opportunity for senior citizens to receive free dental screenings, health evaluations and education.
Volunteers from the school teamed up with the Community Health Resource Center, an affiliate of California Pacific Medical Center, to provide a variety of complimentary health and wellness services. Services included dental health screenings, oral cancer and denture screenings in addition to blood glucose, bone density and cholesterol testing. Massage therapy, audiology education and vision testing were also offered.
"The seniors we're seeing today, some of whom are from underserved communities, are receiving valuable information about their overall health as well as their dental health," said Patty Torres-Molina, event coordinator and vice president of SCOPE. "This is just one of many SCOPE events we're involved in each year and it's great to see so many seniors here at today's event."
The Senior Smiles Health Fair has been offered by the Dugoni School of Dentistry for 15 of the past 16 years. Its goals are to support seniors in the prevention of diseases and the early identification of a change in their health status. Many seniors lack access to low- and no-cost health services. Events like this health fair provide an opportunity for seniors to learn about improving their health at no cost to them.
"I volunteer at events like Senior Smiles because it gives me a chance to reconnect with the community and to help people get the information they need to better their oral health and their lives," said Joy Magtanong-Madrid, SCOPE co-president and one of the many students who volunteered for the event.
Several neighborhood merchants also donated to the outreach effort by supplying complimentary refreshments and food to fair participants. Event contributors included: Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Whole Foods, Tango Gelato and James Stanfield Catering. In addition the YMCA provided bus service to various senior residents in need of transportation.
Category Type: Special Events, Community Outreach
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