A flu clinic is among the many health services being offered through UFV and Fraser Health public health nurses at the UFV Five Corners building on Nov. 24.

A flu clinic is among the many health services being offered through UFV and Fraser Health public health nurses at the UFV Five Corners building on Nov. 24.

Downtown residents offered health and wellness checkup

Flu clinic among services provided by UFV nursing students, staff and public health nurses

UFV has the perfect location, and just the right people, to help improve the health of downtown residents.

And on Nov. 24, they’ll be throwing open the doors to their Five Corners location for a three hour health and wellness fair. It will be hosted by the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences, along with public health nurses from Fraser Health, and nurses from STOP HIV/AIDS.

It will include a flu clinic, blood pressure measurements, information on chronic pain, as well as STD and STI initiatives. It’s also a chance for residents to get out and see what the UFV nursing students are learning, win some raffle prizes, and enjoy refreshments.

“It’s for all ages,” says Sheila Edwards, an associate professor for the fourth year of UFV’s BSN program. “We hope to have parents and children come out, as well as older people and all across the age span, to get a dialogue going about what the needs  are of people who live down there, and what we can do as a faculty in the community.”

This event is an offshoot of a similar event held at the Five Corners location back in March. There, they held a needs assessment, asking people to put stickers on the subjects they’d like to learn more about.

Edwards says the location is a perfect place to host these community health fairs. While they give the residents an opportunity to learn about and improve their health, they are also giving invaluable experience to their students — many of whom will go on to be community health nurses.

“We’re really happy we have this small campus now that happens to be in the downtown core,” Edwards says. “This is our second event and we’re hoping to have more events, just because it’s such a great location.”

Anyone is able to come down and get a free flu shot at the clinic, which will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 24.

There will also be two nurses from STOP HIV/AIDS on hand. The acronym stands for “Seek and Treat for Optimal Prevention of HIV/AIDS,” and it began as a four-year pilot project back in 2010 for the Vancouver area. It was so successful, the government further funded the program, and they are now able to expand their scope to all B.C. residents.

Their project aims are to ensure timely access to high quality and safe HIV/AIDS care and treatment, reduce the number of new diagnoses, reduce the impact through effective screening and early detection, and to improve patient experiences.

Another health obstacle that will be under the microscope at the fair is chronic pain. A UFV faculty member has been studying chronic pain in depth, and will be on hand with information and a poster explaining her work. She will be there to discuss chronic pain with those attending, as well.

Nursing students have been working hard at putting the entire event together, from appealing to local businesses for raffle prizes, to the marketing and planning of the fair, Edwards says. As outreach and community health fairs are an increasingly important facet of health care, they are essential skills as nurses head into the field searching for work.

To learn more, drop by the fair at the UFV building right at Five Corners from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24.