WVU hosts first-ever intersectional health fair providing free health screenings

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University hosted the first-ever Intersectional Health Fair on Sunday, where they brought together multiple healthcare schools to provide free tests and information for marginalized communities.

Dianne Techwei, a third-year pharmacy student and one of the organizers, said the event was created in the spirit of Black History Month. Techwei said the schools of pharmacy, occupational health, dentistry, WVU Medicine and Carruth Center all came together to offer their services to the public.

“We have blood pressure screenings,” Techwei said. “We have blood sugar, we have A1C, we have education, like mental health, sexual health, we have dental screenings and we have just general education like medication reconciliation and we have some education on vaccines of viruses like HPV which is very predominant. We also have smoking cessation because our state is plagued by tobacco so we have those here.”

She said West Virginia leads the way nationally in terms of tobacco usage, diabetes and hypertension and that was something that needed to be addressed.

Techwei said although the event was inspired by Black History Month it wasn’t only for African Americans.

“It’s a health fair that was created for people of marginalized communities taking into consideration cuts across more than race,” she said. “It cuts into ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and just your socioeconomic status. That’s why we created this health fair, to give people who we know have faced a disparity in healthcare, to give them an ability to be able to just come out and do these screenings for free.”

Techwei said she was thankful to all of the schools and her classmates who were able to volunteer at the fair because they’re making a difference and added: “I believe that we can change the world one stroke at a time.”

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