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Health Fair raises awareness of medical resources

Students+receive+free+blood+pressure+tests+by+the+Moorpark+College+Nursing+Program.+The+annual+Health+Fair+focuses+on+raising+awareness+of+the+medical+resources+and+health+services+available+to+students.+Photo+credit%3A+Nicole+Szczepanek
Students receive free blood pressure tests by the Moorpark College Nursing Program. The annual Health Fair focuses on raising awareness of the medical resources and health services available to students. Photo credit: Nicole Szczepanek

Students receive free blood pressure tests by the Moorpark College Nursing Program. The annual Health Fair focuses on raising awareness of the medical resources and health services available to students. Photo credit: Nicole Szczepanek

Students receive free blood pressure tests by the Moorpark College Nursing Program. The annual Health Fair focuses on raising awareness of the medical resources and health services available to students. Photo credit: Nicole Szczepanek

Nicole Szczepanek

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Students tried free health tests and interactive games this Oct. 3, during the annual campus Health Fair.

The fair filled Raider Walk with representatives from on-campus and off-campus organizations that shared what medical services were available to students. Flu shots, blood pressure tests, massages and free prizes were among the many ways over 30 vendors attracted the attention of students in between classes.

“It was a great success,” said Allison Barton, Health Educator and organizer of the event. “The displayers did a wonderful job of having a lot of hands-on activities that showed students first-hand how much they support them.”

An off-campus eye center, Advanced Family Vision, challenged students to play cornhole while wearing goggles representing the effects of different eye diseases.

“Students are learning something they would have never known about, while also finding a new point of view,” said representative Jessica Kirk.

The vendor outreach not only offered informative games, but also opportunity and insight. For Caden Kelsey, 24, Psychology major, it was the chance to sign up as a bone marrow donor and learn more about the organizations he was already interested in.

“I stopped by Planned Parenthood’s booth and realized it’s not just a place for abortion, but a place for checking sexually transmitted infections, counseling, and contraceptives,” said Kelsey. “These are things that people just assume, so it’s important to grab their attention and encourage them to learn something.”

A community non-profit organization that offers affordable health care to those insured and uninsured, Clinicas del Camino Real, promoted their booth by giving students free glucose level tests.

“Some students are falling off of insurance because they are turning 26 years old, and now they need their own insurance,” said Myra Agreda, Clinicas del Camino Real representative. “Their health matters and we can help them access what they need.”

The Health Fair emphasized the importance of healthy living for Chis Brauer, 19, Biology major, who walked around observing the various booths.

“I feel that especially when students are young, they feel like they’re going to live forever,” said Brauer. “It’s not something far off in the future, and can happen at any time.”

Uninsured and insured students are also offered medical resources by the Moorpark College Health Center, through the health fee that is paid when registering for classes. Students have access to supplies such as free over-the-counter medications, band-aids and condoms. Six free sessions of psychological counseling every semester are also included in the health fee.

“If students don’t have insurance, this is a really good way of getting care,” said Barton. “You don’t even have to move your parking spot.”

There is no charge to see a physician, nurse practitioner, or registered nurse at the Health Center. Appointments are completely confidential and can be made conveniently before, after, or in between classes.

“Many students still live at home and are on their parent’s insurance policy, so they know when they go to the doctor,” said Barton. “Some students want to go to the doctor without their parents knowing, especially for counseling.”

The Health Center’s psychological counseling department booth provided assessments of mental health and coping strategies in relation to recent mass shootings.

“After the Las Vegas shooting, we are passing out information about how to cope psychologically when the world no longer feels safe and people are having stress in result,” said Clarissa Green, Mental Health Counselor.

Promoting healthy living, both mentally and physically, is the main goal of the Health Center.

“Students, especially at a young age, need to be really aware of what’s out there while they’re experimenting with different things and relationships,” said Lauren Talbot, 19, Art History major. “It’s better to know about these things early, rather than too late.”

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