Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UDC Offers Heath Screenings and Nutrition Education at the DC Job Fair

By Carilyne Vance
On Thursday, August 21, 2014, the CAUSES Department of Nursing lead a collaboration of Health Care agencies, to provide health screenings to participants of the Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s annual job fair. The event, held at the Washington Convention Center, was attended by over five hundred job seekers, of which many chose to utilize the free screening services. Basic services such as free blood pressure and mental health screenings and counseling were provided by participating providers such as: Med-Star Georgetown University Hospital, Howard University Hospital, the Nurse Practitioner Alliance, and the Nursing Department of the University of the District of Columbia. Special thanks to Dr. Pier Broadnax and her faculty for coordinating the providers.

In one instance, UDC’s Katrina Clark, along with Christine Kloby of the Nurse Practitioner Alliance, worked with 62 year-old District resident Renee, regarding her blood pressure screening results. They spoke with her about medication options and the importance of following up with her Internist. When asked of the service she was provided, she expressed that the session was not only informative, but was done in a caring and professional manner. She was not only appreciative of the information she received, but was impressed with the level of detail the professional’s offered and the sense of caring she felt. She felt that it was well worth her time and was glad that these services were so readily available. She was then referred to UDC’s Center for Nutrition Diet and Health’s table for nutrition education. 

“The job fair provided an excellent opportunity to educate District residents,” commented Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director, Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health.

CNDH’s Teresa Turner helped the District resident understand how high fiber food choices along with moderate exercise would aid her in managing her blood pressure issues. The Center’s Tyrome Henson, Herbert Holden and Helen Naylor also informed visitors about healthy nutritional choices and simple ways to add nutrient dense and heart healthy foods to their diet while still staying within a budget. Chef Herb Holden demonstrated how to artfully carve fruit. Nutrition educator Sapna Batheja spoke with visitors about diabetes and the value of healthy beverages, while James Lee discussed hypertension, a critical element in Washington, D.C., where many of the District’s residents live in food deserts without access to fresh food, but instead, unhealthy fast food.

In addition, Ms. Naylor educated participants on how extra body fat negatively affects the human body.  One tool used to illustrate the research on this matter was a belly-fat prosthetic. This prop, once put on, gives the wearer a true feeling on what additional fat feels like on the body. The goal of using it is to help the wearer make conscious choices to help them not develop this issue in real-life. According to District resident Natasha it worked: “I could not imagine carrying this much extra weight everyday. It definitely will make me more cognizant of my weight and to be sure to control it going forward.” 

The health-care screening and nutritional counseling offered at the Job Fair was a big success. The Professionals on hand served over 200 District residents and offered nutritional information to over 250.  The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health also offers information on Nutrition and Healthy cooking through demonstrations held throughout the city and in partnership with community organizations and local government agencies.  The University of the District of Columbia’s Nursing program offers a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This program is geared towards the Registered Nurses (RNs), who hold a license to practice nursing in Washington, D.C.

For more information on these and other programs offered at the University, please visit

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