BINATIONAL HEALTH FAIR: Service to the community
Since 2011, Metropolitan Community College has hosted Omaha’s largest free health clinic for the community, serving nearly 1,000 individuals with access to vaccinations, health screenings, prevention strategies and important information about healthcare coverage. The Binational Health Fair occurs during Binational Health Week every year in October, and is a mobilization effort to improve the health and wellbeing of the underserved Latino population living in the United States and Canada. In Omaha, the event is held on MCC’s South Omaha Campus and involves a collaboration with multiple government and community service agencies and, while the focus is on reaching the Latino population, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. With support from the Metro Omaha Medical Society Foundation and Methodist Health Systems Community Benefits, MCC Health and Public Service students conduct on-site glucose screenings and distribute free fitness tools and first-aid supplies to attendees. “This event empowers individuals to take charge of their health while providing our students with valuable clinical and community service experiences,” says Dr. Stacey Ocander, dean of Health and Public Services at MCC. “This community health initiative brings together so many health and human service organizations to improve health outcomes. Professionals from more than 40 agencies come together for the sole purpose of making our community healthy and providing services in a safe and unbiased environment.” Because health-related factors, including chronic illness, can lead to poor academic performance, improving health outcomes can have a lifelong benefit.