UFV Health fair targets downtown Chilliwack populations

Flu clinic, blood pressure information, and HIV/AIDS counselling included in Chilliwack health fair

UFV faculty member and RN JoAnne Nelmes (left) and UFV BA student Elise St. Martin share a laugh at the UFV Health ad Wellness Fair at UFV Five Corners in Chilliwack last Thursday.

UFV faculty member and RN JoAnne Nelmes (left) and UFV BA student Elise St. Martin share a laugh at the UFV Health ad Wellness Fair at UFV Five Corners in Chilliwack last Thursday.

Providing health care isn’t just about textbooks and medicine, it’s also about meeting patients and understanding where they are on their journey to better health.

And UFV’s nursing students had a chance to put both to the test last Thursday, offering both medicine and counsel to some of Chilliwack’s most vulnerable populations.

The university threw open the doors of its downtown campus and welcomed in the public to take advantage of a multitude of services, at their Health and Wellness Fair. There were flu shots for those who needed them, advice on gambling, nutritional support for families, information on strokes and blood pressure testing, and a private room set aside for HIV, AIDS and STI information and counselling.

Hannah MacDonald, director of UFV’s School of Health Studies, was among the faculty who watched over the fair and helped the students carry out their vision.

“Part of the objective of UFV is to work with the community,” she said “And how better to do that with a health fair?”

As the students head out into the world of medicine, they will encounter people from all walks of life, she said. So, getting out and meeting their future clients and patients face to face is an invaluable part of their education.

“This gives them exposure to a diversity of populations and is an opportunity to learn about reaching out to them, and really bringing services to people,” she say.

Chilliwack is a “very organized” community of service providers, MacDonald added, and they didn’t want to duplicate a service that was already available.

One example is an information booth set up by faculty member JoAnnes Nelmes. The 30-plus-year registered nurse has been studying chronic pain for the past few years, and has been eager to share what she’s learned.

Over the past year, she interviewed 20 volunteers and spent time with them to understand what they live through on a daily basis. Even with her experience as a health care provider and instructor, her interviewees taught her just how insidious chronic pain can be.

“Chronic pain is so prevalent,” she said, and affects every facet of life for those who suffer from it. Even more, chronic pain can lead to related problems, such as depression and isolation as the patient begins to disengage with friends and family.

Nelmes identified some common threads among the interviewees, she said. For example, those who have found a way to get back to living well, despite pain, often report strong caregiver support from their family physician.

Her chronic pain study was an ideal fit for the downtown health fair, as her hope was to let others know they aren’t alone in their pain. She enlisted the help of fourth year BA student Elise St. Martin for the visuals, designed to connect with the public.

This was the second Health and Wellness Fair at the Five Corners location, and they are already planning their next one. Their winter semester will include a fair focused on youth, and particularly at-risk youth.

Of the homeless count in Chilliwack, MacDonald said, 40 per cent are youth. More information on that fair will be available closer to the event.









Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Syringes prepared with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Walk-ins welcome at upcoming G.W. Secondary vaccine clinic

Second consecutive Saturday Fraser Health has scheduled a same-day clinic in a Chilliwack school

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read