How IPFW Nurses Get Involved with the Community

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Lac Du Flambeau Reservation

 

At IPFW, there are countless ways to get involved in the healthcare community. Here are just a few of the ways we do our part to help out.

Each fall, hundreds of volunteers and clients converge on Matthew 25 Medical/Dental Clinic on East Jefferson Blvd. for the Annual Healthy Cities Health Fair. Services provided included blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, PSA for men, vision and hearing screenings, flu shots, haircuts, and more. Each client participating in the health fair received a winter coat and a warm meal. This year, 211 clients were served. Each year, it takes approximately 300 volunteers working 4 hour shifts to staff this event. The volunteers include professionals and nursing students from IPFW and University of Saint Francis. IPFW was also well represented by the Anthropology, Dental, Radiology, and Human Services departments.

The Healthy Cities Health Fair is a yearly event that was originated in 1990 by Linda Graham, a former professor in the nursing department. Graham identified the need for yearly health screenings for the uninsured and under-insured members of the community. Graham enlisted the help of her friends in the health professions to come together to provide many health screenings that would normally not be accessible to this population. The health fair outgrew several venues over the years, and finally has found a new home at Matthew 25 in 2012. Healthy Cities continues every year in loving memory of Linda Graham, since her death in 2008.

Health Screenings for Migrant Workers

After almost a year of planning, Nurse Practitioner (NP) Students from the Department of Nursing and Spanish students from the Department of International Languages and Culture Studies at IPFW traveled to Atlanta, Indiana to provide health screenings for migrant workers at Beck’s Hybrid Seeds. The Health Clinic was organized by Nurse Practitioner and IPFW faculty member Heather Krull. Spanish Professor Jens Clegg assisted in the planning of the event. Prior to the event, Professor Clegg’s Spanish class translated pamphlets designed by the NP students into Spanish. The pamphlets provided health promotion information on hypertension, tobacco cessation, repetitive work injuries, and health care resources. These pamphlets were provided to the migrant workers during their examinations. Multiple health conditions were identified during the examinations including: hypertension, oral abscesses, musculoskeletal injuries, tobacco abuse, and obesity. Referrals were then made for care. The day-long clinic with four exam rooms served 42 migrant workers and gave great practical experience to both the Spanish and NP students.

All students had the opportunity to interact with the migrant workers providing translation, physical examinations, medical advice, education on medical information, and information on medical resources available in the community.

Community Partnership Lac Du Flambeau Reservation

While many professionals such as engineers, farmers, and architects “size up” a community in order to design buildings or prepare the ground for harvest, community health nurses also gather information about the health of communities using a systematic process. Nurses with expertise in community and public health nursing are skilled investigators who gather health data in order to help community residents address their health concerns.

Nine IPFW senior-level baccalaureate nursing students under the leadership of faculty Denise Jordan and LeAnn Mayer from the Department of Nursing, spent their fall break working in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. They were participating in a community assessment of the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and the members of the Ojibwa Tribe who reside there.

Just as nurses assess and evaluate the needs of individuals, community health nursing students have learned how to assess communities and formulate community diagnoses. Over fall break, their work and the work of our IPFW photographers provided important guidance to tribal members, assisting them with the resolution of health problems on the reservation.

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