Amanda Cafazza, a senior nursing major at UMSL, takes the blood pressure of Pat Miller, of St. Louis, on April 11 at the St. Alphnosus “Rock” Catholic Church in St. Louis. (Photo by Myra Lopez)

A normal blood sugar reading drew a sigh of relief from one woman. Another promised to follow-up with a doctor after being told her headaches are likely related to her high blood pressure.

A free health fair for older adults April 11 at the St. Alphnosus Liguori “Rock” Catholic Church in St. Louis helped more than 100 people. The event was organized by the College of Nursing at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and St. Louis Housing Authority.

Fifty College of Nursing students and a handful of volunteers from the College of Optometry at UMSL carried out the screenings, which included blood pressure, diabetes, vision and cholesterol.

“I enjoy helping out the community,” said Kaylene Pendleton, a senior nursing major at UMSL. “I’m just really glad to be able to help people better their health.”

She conducted a blood sugar test on Pat Miller, of St. Louis, who called the free health fair “a blessing” and “positively wonderful.”

“I think this is just tremendous of them to equip us with tools to further our life,” Miller said.

Nearly 30 vendors set up booths at the fair offering participants advice on healthy eating, housing options and screenings for depression.

Emily Pike, a third-year optometry student at UMSL, said there’s real value in offering free vision screenings to the community.

“It gives people a chance to get some type of health screening done who may not go for ordinary health care,” Pike said. “It also gives you a nice warm feeling that you’ve helped someone.”

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez

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