The University of Alabama-Pickens County Partnership hosted a health fair earlier this month at the Pickens County Medical Center Healthplex in Carrollton, Alabama, to provide information about health care resources in the community.
There were also free health screenings available for blood pressure, weight and cholesterol, and people had the opportunity to review their results with a health coach, who also provided advice about how to better manage various health issues. The screenings were provided by the UA Capstone College of Nursing faculty and nursing students.
“This fair is a good example of the excellent resources available in a rural community,” said Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, which leads the UA-Pickens County Partnership.
Streiffer said educating rural residents is vital to the existence of health care facilities like Pickens County Medical Center, which, like many rural hospitals, has faced tough economic times. “Without being able to serve people, hospitals like this and the facilities and services it has to offer are going to close and the access to health care for rural counties will be even worse.”
The UA-Pickens County Partnership works to place UA students in medicine, nursing, social work, nutrition, psychology and health education – and potentially other fields – in Pickens County for internships and experiences. Through the partnership, the rural, underserved county is provided with additional health resources, and UA students receive real world training in their respective areas of study.
“Having students in the county is beneficial for Pickens County,” said Wilamena Daily, partnership coordinator. “When you have those extra hands, it brings more resources.”