Mercy’s Bronx Community Health Fair Raises Awareness and Connects Residents with Resources for a Healthier Life

Physician Assistant students and faculty stand together for a group photo at the Bronx Campus

On Saturday, October 7, 鶹Ʒ partnered with local community health organizations for the first Bronx Community Health Fair. The event, held on the Bronx campus, provided health education, preventive screenings, and workshops designed to raise awareness of health risks and community resources. Sponsored by the School of Health and Natural Sciences, the health fair was organized by Dr. Lorraine Cashin, assistant professor and director of the graduate program in physician assistant studies, and Dr. Jean Walsh, assistant professor and program director of the health science undergraduate program. 

Inspired by “#Not62, The Campaign for a Healthy Bronx” the organizers sought to raise awareness about the overall health of Bronx residents. “We focused on significant health issues that tend to be underreported, like interpersonal violence and fire safety, but which would also encourage community members to take control of their health,” said Cashin.

The event included workshops led by partners from Jacobi Medical Center, Montefiore/Einstein, Centers for Medicare Services, and the FDNY. “There are so many resources in this community, but they are not always easy for residents to access,” said Walsh. “We hope the health fair encourages people to avail themselves of these vital community resources.”

A close look at community patterns led the organizers to focus on issues pertinent to the Bronx. “People with limited income tend to rely on fast food because it’s convenient and cheap, even though it’s unhealthy,” said Cashin. “We invited a cooking expert to demonstrate budget-friendly healthy meals.” Information booths provided information about alcohol use, blood cancer risks, domestic violence and mental health issues. 

Both Cashin and Walsh said they were pleased with the turnout, and hope more Bronx residents seek out neighborhood health providers and services. said Cashin. “It’s our vision that our Bronx community neighbors will not only start making more informed decisions about health and safety, but will also view 鶹Ʒ as a resource where they can educate themselves and make their lives a little better.”