Touro University students turn grant into Vallejo health fair

By Irma Widjojo/Times-Herald staff writer
PUBLISHED BY TIMES HERALD
POSTED:   04/07/2014 05:43:05 AM PDT

A few dozen Touro University California students and faculty members offered free health services to the Vallejo community Sunday..

The event originated with five Touro University California pharmacy students submitting a four-minute video with Vallejo in mind. In it, the students proposed a community health fair for Vallejo, showcasing the toll that the economic downturn took on the city.

"The recession hit Vallejo pretty hard," said Dennis Kim, one of the five students. "We want to do something nice for Vallejo."

The short video was then submitted to a national contest Student National Pharmaceutical Association/WalMart Prescription for Service, and was chosen as the regional winner in the region. It came with a $2,500 grant to turn the group's proposal into reality.

On Sunday, about 50 people took advantage of the free services offered at the Norman King Center on Magazine Street. Services included blood pressure and sugar level screening, osteopathic manipulation, and other educational information.

Noemi Mapalo, of American Canyon, came to the fair with her friend Carmen Reandaelo, of Vallejo.

"I want to get more educated," Mapalo said. "It helps me recognize that some things that I'm doing are not very good for me. ... Like eating too much rice, because it turns into insulin."

The student-run fair also gave a chance for students from various schools in the university to work together.

"It's very rare that we get to work side by side," Kim said. "We are all part of a medical team, and we should work together."

Annie Tran, another team member, said the fair emphasized education.

"It's the most important thing to keep people healthy," Tran said.

The team will present its project in July at a national level, competing against four other regional winners for a $10,000 scholarship.

Touro students also hold a regular Student-Run Free Clinic every Thursday from 4:30 to 8 p.m., at the center, 545 Magazine St. For more information, call 707-653-6331, or visit www.tourofreeclinic.org.

Contact staff writer Irma Widjojo at (707) 553-6835 or iwidjojo@timesheraldonline.com. Follow her on Twitter@IrmaVTH.