Discover Your Island

Islander Nursing Students Give Back at Duval County’s First Annual Health & Wellness Expo

February 28, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – In the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 28, 40 College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CONHS) students along with staff and faculty loaded up on a bus headed west to the small town of San Diego. Once there, the nursing students represented Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi by providing free services at Duval County’s first annual Health & Wellness Expo at the San Diego Civic Center.

“Going through procedures and learning theories in classrooms lays the foundation for our students to take it a step further. Through outreaches like the Health & Wellness Expo, we continue to give back to the community,” said Dr. Cathy Miller, CONHS Associate Professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

At the Health & Wellness Expo, Islander nursing students performed a variety of free health services for local residents, including checking blood pressure, performing height and weight calculations and giving stroke awareness education.

“Not only did the nursing students gain beneficial on-the-job experience, but they also performed valuable services for a community demographic who may not always receive the healthcare needed,” remarked Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton, CONHS Dean at A&M-Corpus Christi. “For many students, this is the first exposure to rural underserved health care areas. It changes their perspectives on the importance of health care access in those communities to the point that they consider returning to those areas as registered nurses to work.”

People across the region came to receive more accessible services, go to the many booths, and attend demonstrations and presentations at the Health & Wellness Expo. Some of the features included a tai chi demonstration by Healthy South Texas agent Donna McClure, a physical fitness demonstration by the Duval County SWAT team and a video presentation of “Someone You Love” by Community Action Corporation of South Texas in honor of cervical cancer awareness.

“The community came together, including the Mayor of San Diego, to take the opportunity to accept healthier options,” said Lillian Alvarez, who is currently working towards a master’s degree in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at A&M-Corpus Christi. “The nursing undergraduate class did an excellent job in educating the community.”