By Paul D Panakal
As part of its commitment to provide service to the community and the society in general, Indian Nursing Association conducted a Community Health Fair in Floral Park, NY. The event was collaborated by FOKANA and KCNA community organizations and supported by Northwell Health, one of the largest healthcare network in the United States. The event was made possible by expert cardiologists, specialty Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapists, experienced nurses and other experts in their relevant fields.
The South Asian population are found to be at higher risk for heart diseases and suffer premature heart attacks than any ethnic groups. More South Asians die at younger age with heart attack than others. They are also at greatest risk for insulin resistant type 2 diabetes despite their body weight among all ethnic groups.
In this context there is heightened feelings of responsibility among healthcare organizations and professionals to take steps to increase awareness to mitigate the risk in the South Asian community. Indian Nurses Association of New York (INANY) initiated this Health Fair with the goal of reaching out to the community to provide a comprehensive health screening and education which included screening, assessment and education to increase awareness for leading a mindful life.
The four-hour long event at Tyson Center in Floral Park, NY was attended by roughly hundred people. Professional staff from Northshore Health, the largest healthcare network in New York state administered flu shot to those that did not get it this year. At the physical therapy booth, people enjoyed the fun-filled hands on learning activities with the therapists from Marathon Physical Therapy which included technics for balancing, muscle strengthening, neuro-motor coordination and so on. Dr. Srihari Naidu, a well-known cardiologist and his physician wife conducted cardiac screening, electrocardiogram and provided heart-health education. Several people were able to undergo diabetes diagnostic screening known as Hemoglobin A1c and educated on metabolic problems, complications of diabetes, and health maintenance through diet management. The soothing aromatic air in and around the wellness promotion booth invited the attendees to get learn about coping mechanisms and relaxation technics to reduce every day stress. People learned that stress is part of daily life. Still, the impact of not managing stress would take a toll on our body and mind. Cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training to the public was another highlight of the event with the goal of preparing the public to save lives in emergencies.
The Education Committee of INANY under the chair of Dr. Anna George led the organization of this Community Health Fair. INANY represents and voices for the Indian nurses and nursing students in New York State. It has been providing support to the nurses through Continuing Education Conferences, job placements, tuition discounts for higher studies through relationship with universities and nursing scholarships in the United States and in India. Tara Shajan, its current president acknowledges the contributions of the strong and resourceful leadership team for its services.