The annual Community Assistance and Resource Event (CARE) Fair is sponsored each year by the Junior League of Salt Lake City, and each year they invite University of Utah healthcare volunteers to join them in providing essential services to the people of Northern Utah. This year, the two-day fair was held at the Horizonte Instruction and Learning Center in Salt Lake City, and residents from across the valley came for free health exams and tests, immunizations, and consultations—as well as free safety equipment such as bicycle helmets and car seats.
The event relies heavily on students from Health Sciences, such as medicine, dentistry, PA, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy and Nursing, and healthcare providers in these areas volunteering to provide support from assisting with screenings to language interpretation. In addition to the many individual volunteers from across the department, DFPM each year provides consistent support for the fair with a cadre of physician assistants (PAs) who attend as part of the Utah Physician Assistant Program’s (UPAP) commitment to community outreach and public health.
This year, 30 PA students from the DFPM program attended, providing services such as adult and child physical exams, screenings for diabetes and cholesterol, and mammograms. PA participation in the fair helps ensure that there are enough providers to meet the fair’s needs and allows a greater diversity of community health needs to be met. In addition, the CARE Fair allows learning PA students the opportunity to interact with groups they might not otherwise serve during their clinical training and gives them practice in essential services they will perform throughout their careers.