A giant blue and orange balloon arch welcomed thousands of people to the festive event held at UT Physicians Bellaire Station on Friday, October 27th and Saturday, October 28th. His two-day health fair, hosted by UTHealth Houston, featured free health exams, demonstrations, health care materials, promotional materials and goofy moments in the photo booth. Best of all, participants were able to interact with healthcare providers and clinical staff from multiple departments and schools within the university.
A first for UTHealth Houston, the health fair also served as a baggage drop-off location for participants in the 2023 Houston Half Marathon & 10K, held in downtown Houston on Sunday, Oct. 29. UTHealth Houston served as the title sponsor of the marathon.
Sugar Land resident Femi Ayadi said seeing the information tables lining the hallway leading to baggage claim made it all the more worthwhile to come all the way to get a runner’s kit.
“As an avid runner, personal health is always important,” Ayadi said. “The tests I’m being offered are ones I’d like to do to make sure I’m healthy. What a great concept!”
Bringing together various specialized fields
Many runners and their families were joined by representatives from across the university, including dermatology, orthopedics, cardiovascular surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, dentistry, the Center for Healthy Aging, and more.
Aura “Angie” BeltranThe multimedia marketing manager for UTHealth Houston’s orthopedics department said health fairs are a great way to connect with people and share information about the services offered at the clinic.
“We also had the added benefit of having everything in one place, so the community could see first-hand everything UTHealth Houston has to offer,” Beltran said. “We have a large community of runners among our patients, and many of our orthopedic surgeons are also runners.”
The health fair also allowed attendees to see the breadth of the university’s ability to offer both professional care and convenience.
“We have obstetrics and gynecology services not only at the Texas Medical Center, but also at clinics in Memorial City, Pearland, and other areas of the city.” Danica J. Lapid, Marylandassistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.
The value of prevention
A recurring theme at the health fair focused on preventive testing, health visits, and care for the hundreds of attendees.
Katy resident Saroja Borini praised the convenience of being able to get tested while collecting runners’ luggage.
“It’s great that UTHealth Houston is coordinating resources like this for our community,” Bollineni said. Based on her family history, she said it is imperative to be proactive and do preventive care checks.
The mobile dental van provided another opportunity for participants to receive preventive care. UT Health Houston School of Dentistry students and faculty staffed a van with three dental chairs to provide preventive and treatment care. This unique resource is regularly used to provide care to underserved communities throughout Houston.
Other activities at the health fair included a CPR and first aid demonstration by the Department of Emergency Medicine at UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School. Members of the Mobile Simulation Training Unit said they are excited to be front and center in educating the community.
“It’s really important for us to teach people how to save lives.” Dr. Gori Stevens, Associate Professor at McGovern Medical School. “If something unexpected happens and someone knows the basic steps of CPR, it can make a world of difference.”
race day spirit
On Sunday, UTHealth Houston’s presence could be seen in the marathon’s Runner’s Village and along the route. UTHealth Houston Senior Vice President of Development and Public Affairs Kevin Foyle, MBA; I spoke to the runners at the start line while the first corrals waited for takeoff.
“The UT Health Houston team is proud to be a part of this year’s event,” Foyle said. “Please know that we will be with you every step of the way.”
UT Health Houston Dr. Marwan F. Jumeanand Taggart T. Govan, MD, volunteered as the event’s official cardiac surgeon and orthopedic surgeon. These professionals engaged participants and provided care to runners along the course as needed.
“The spirit and enthusiasm of all the runners was amazing,” Jumean said. “Having a presence like he does here at UTHealth Houston is important, not only for care and support, but also to raise awareness of the importance of heart health, preventive care, and a healthy lifestyle.” is also important.”
When the runners crossed the finish line and received their medals, it was a moment to rest and reflect on the event and a job well done for Houston. Foyle said the energy from the Bellaire Station health fair transferred to Sunday’s race.
“Our team’s presence was a lasting message of how UTHealth Houston and UT’s physicians are committed to Houston and the community from start to finish,” Foyle said.