Wright State medical students serve as health coaches in community health fair

Students at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine will survey the health care needs of residents around Good Samaritan Hospital.

Students at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine will volunteer at the Second Annual Community Health Fair at the Five Rivers Family Health Center, 2261 Philadelphia Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45406, on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m. The event serves as the official kick-off for the organization’s health coach project.

The students will work in neighborhoods near the recently closed Good Samaritan Hospital. Their goal is to make contact with as many residents in the 45406 zip code as possible, either by phone, email or personal interaction.

“Many of the neighbors we’ve heard from lack the basic health care resources they need to stay healthy,” said Gina McFarlane-El, executive director of Five Rivers Health Centers. “We want to make a difference for these folks.”

It is the first time Five Rivers Health Centers has held the health coaching project. The center’s leaders anticipate approximately 100 medical students will serve as health coaches for community members.

The students will ask residents questions to determine their health care needs. If they don’t have a primary care physician, the students can help connect them with providers. Medical students can also identify what activities and resources might help them.

The community health fair will be the first chance for Wright State medical students to actually meet and talk with neighbors who may need health coaching.

“We hope the students will learn about community health needs and how to get resources to those neighbors in need,” said McFarlane-El. “We expect a huge turnout. We know that residents come out for the free health screenings, fun activities, raffle prizes and education.”

Five Rivers Health Centers is a nonprofit, federally qualified health center that serves patients, regardless of their ability to pay. It provides high-quality health care to patients while providing learning opportunities to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine resident physicians.

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