This past Sunday I volunteered at a Health Fair at Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens. It was sponsored by BAPA- Bangladeshi American Pharmacists Association. It was organized by younger members of BAPA who are pharmacists as well. These young organizers brought a lot of enthusiasm and energy to the fair. It was catered to the elderly and those who can’t afford or don’t have health insurance and people who have language barriers. These barriers may hinder them from receiving proper care and/or compliance in taking their medication.
I spoke to the organizers and asked them why they had set up this fair and they stated that being in the health care field you always want to be able to give back in the best way you know how. They continued on to explain that there are lots of misunderstandings with the elderly in regards to nutrition and how to control certain disease states. Due to lack of communication because of language barriers, sometimes these very simple aspects are neglected. One of the main goals of this fair was to provide simple lifestyle changes that can have a large impact in improvement of symptoms and control disease states like hypertension and diabetes.
The remarkable thing was that there were so many volunteers and the patients were able to be seen right away. The volunteers consisted of not just fellow pharmacists but also physicians, counselors, ophthalmologists, psychologists and people who wanted to dedicate their time to help out. It was actually more of a free health clinic because all sorts of services were offered like: blood pressure testing, blood glucose testing, eye exams, medication counselling and immunization counselling. There was mental health and nutrition booths providing counselling services and of course physicians were giving exams and catering to the patients’ questions and concerns as well. There was tons of free stuff like first aid kits, pill boxes, pamphlets etc. Healthy refreshments were also served- quinoa which is a grain and a great substitute for rice for diabetic patients, salad and fruit along with coffee, croissants and donuts.
I was talking to Sadia who is a psychologist and Nazia who is a counselor and they were saying that mental health counselling and attending therapy sessions in certain communities is taboo. It is looked down upon and this is why many people will not admit that they or a loved one need therapy. This was one of the main reasons why Sadia and Nazia said they wanted to have a booth- to encourage people to seek help and to dispel the misconceptions that mental health and therapy is taboo. For more information on Dr, Sadia Chaudhury’s practice, or to refer someone for therapy, please click on the link for her website- www.drsadia.com. She has 2 locations where she practices.
This is my only full outfit pic so my outfit of the day details are below. This was my simple outfit for work- including slacks, a long, loose high low button up top and closed toe comfortable shoes.
Pants- Gap true straight pants
Top- Gosilk purchased on ruelala.com
Silk headscarf- Versace purchased at Century21
Patent flats- Tory Burch
It was great to be able to help out and provide a needed service to the community especially during the extended holiday weekend (thanksgiving was celebrated in America a few days prior). How did you and how do you plan on giving back in the upcoming months?
Thanks for reading! Xoxo
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