ALHAMBRA – Hundreds of people made their way down to theWest San Gabriel Valley YMCA this past Saturday to take advantage of the freeservices provided by the YMCA, Edison, Alhambra and Garfield hospitals, the SanGabriel Valley Medical Center, Arcadia Methodist and the University of SouthernCalifornia. Volunteers took time out of their busy schedules to help thelargely Asian American contingent evaluate their health.
“I think it was a good idea for the YMCA to sponsor such anevent to promote better health,” said Jasmine Chung, the AMCP Director ofAsthma Awareness at the USC. “Preventative care is one of the most practicalways to minimize hospitalizations and expensive medical care.”
She was one of about 30 students from USC’s pharmacy school.The fair was filled with screenings as well as education, from asthma handoutsand posters, for example, to teach people how to take care of themselves. H1N1vaccination were offered, Arcadia Methodist put on a diabetes seminar and theSan Gabriel Arts Association made some colorful displays.
The practicality of prevention could save money forCalifornia in the long run. YMCA public relations director Chin-Ho Liao said,“We will be saving costs for the state in the future by providing medicalcheckups and exams in case people get more serious diseases.” This was thesecond year the fair has been held.
USC students tested people for diabetes by pricking fingersand taught how eating breakfast with starches might alter glucose levels. OtherUSC students took blood pressure and explained what normal systolic anddiastolic pressure was (roughly 120/80) and how important it is to exercisethree times a week for about 30 minutes per day.
“General screenings are one of the best ways people can goabout taking care of themselves and making sure they catch problems in theearly stages,” said Chung.
Health care workers also tested for pain, bone density,cholesterol and also screened people for whether or not they were capable ofbecoming a bone marrow match for people with potentially fatal conditions.Those who wanted more comprehensive exams were given referrals to free andlow-cost health clinics in Los Angeles County.
San Gabriel Fire Department paramedics Chris Fetner, SeanIrwin, Steve Wallace, Greg Fierro and firefighter Cuong Tran also lent theirsupport at Saturday’s event. An health fair like the one in Alhambra will betaking place on Chinese New Year (or Tet) in Garden Grove on Feb. 13 and 14 atthe Garden Grove Park.
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