College Provides Free Screenings for Veterans
July 14, 2014
The Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions was asked to provide Philadelphia’s veterans with an array of health screenings during the second annual City of Philadelphia City Council President’s Veteran’s Fair on May 21. The Fair, which was located primarily in the courtyard of City Hall, is meant to provide veterans with, as well as make them aware of, the various resources available to them in Philadelphia. The fair also aims to promote health and wellness in the veteran population.
In addition to the health screenings, there were live performances, speeches by city commissioners, and vendors on site to advertise services as well as pass out free military branded items. Despite the rain, the event was well attended by veterans and city officials alike. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are over 950,000 veterans in the state of Pennsylvania alone.
Under the leadership of Leland “Rocky” Rockstraw, an associate clinical professor and Assistant Dean of Simulation and Clinical and Technology Academic Operations, a team of 39 Drexel faculty, student, and staff volunteers was able to offer a broad range of screenings and education to over 80 veterans. The College was represented by members of the Behavioral Health Counseling, Creative Arts Therapies, Couple and Family Therapy, Nursing, Physician Assistant, and Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences Departments.
Together they screened for health factors including blood pressure, blood glucose, eye sight, body mass index, relationships, depression, post-traumatic stress, and drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions. Many veterans were surprised to learn that so many screenings were available to them at no cost during the fair. This was especially true of many of the older veterans who were not as familiar with more modern health care fields like the creative arts therapies.