Michigan Health Aid – Ann Arbor, MI – Barger Leadership Institute Student Voices

Michigan Health Aid – Ann Arbor, MI

Michigan Health Aid enormously benefitted from the BLI large grant given to us in the winter 2015 semester. In our proposal we outlined our plan to have a large health screening held at the beginning of this fall term. We still followed the steps in our timeline but at an expedited process and also added a new component to our health program. In our proposal we described our process of setting up a health screening, teaching members how to run a screening and compiling the data to use for research/analysis
purposes. Due to additional sources of funding from the DOW sustainability grant we were able to hold a screening on March 25th, 2015.

The screening was held at Bethesda Bible Church in Ypsilanti. Our CCPS (community coordinated preventative screening) team worked together to find the location and the correct time for the screening. The first and third Wednesday of each month Bethesda Bible Church holds a food pantry for community members. We decided to partner with this event. Over the course of two hours our physician saw 15 patients. Each patient had different concerns and issues that they had the opportunity to discuss with the physician. Many of the patients came to the screening with multiple children and thanked us for the convenience of our screening, as it was difficult for them to commute to see a physician while watching their multiple children. Other patients wanted to solely check their blood pressure to make sure they were in the healthy range their physicians told them to stay within. This type of patient was hopeful to see because it showed that the message provided from their physician had resonated and they were carefully and responsibly watching their blood pressure. The physician who volunteered for the screening was an OBGYN. Physician recruitment is often the most difficult part of our screening so we ask our members to connect with the physicians they know in the area. Our member asked his mom and she was thrilled to volunteer. This allowed for a unique opportunity for a parent to be part of the philanthropy their student is involved with. Dr. Clubb was impressed with the screening and expressed interest in coming back to volunteer again.

While we intended on having another screening over the summer, we could not recruit a willing physician. Instead, for the second year in a row, we participated in the Juneteenth Event. This event honors the announcement of the abolition of slavery. It is a national day of celebration, and the Ann Arbor chapter of the NAACP holds the event at Wheeler Park. Instead of bringing a screening to this event, we adapted it into a health fair. We printed hundreds of informative pamphlets and our members taught interested community members on the basics of living a healthy sustainable lifestyle. One of our members is a phlebotomist and thus we still offered to take blood glucose and cholesterol levels. 21 people had their glucose and cholesterol levels taken and 31 had their blood pressure measured. This type of event was an experiment and the community members appreciated us being there and found it useful. Thus, as an organization, we considered it a successful event.

Our events caught the attention of local community leaders such as the president of the NAACP who thanked us for being at the event and the executive assistant to the sheriff, Kathy Wyatt, who has been supporting us for multiple years now.

These two events taught our team how to be more dynamic. In an effort to still provide an impactful event to the community, we had to pivot from our standard health screenings to adapting to an event without a physician. This is a valuable lesson that we will continue to as a growing organization with more projects

and more student members. These two events touched 46 community members and will continue to impact the community as we continue to grow and build on the foundation we have.

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