For the past four years, Miami Dade College physician assistant (PA) students have organized the Project SEED (Serving Everyone Embracing Diversity) Health Fair under the supervision of Dr. Dadilia Garces Mejia, assistant professor at MDC. The community outreach project brings healthcare screenings and follow-up care to migrant farm workers and their families living in Homestead. “This population is often displaced. A lot of them don’t have resources for screenings and treatment,” said Garces Mejia. The event, held at the South Dade Center in Homestead, helped hundreds of migrant farm workers and families receive screenings for everything from vision and hearing to pulmonary issues and STDs, as well as mammogram, cholesterol, glucose, urine and HIV tests. Flu vaccines, pediatric preventive care screenings and education sessions on healthy living were also available. More than 100 PA students from MDC worked at the fourth annual fair alongside volunteers and nursing students from MDC, Medical Campus. The influence of their work is felt throughout the region. As a result of her efforts, Garces Mejia was awarded the 2017 Spirit of Service Learning Award from the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida. “The idea was to find people who are sick and give them the resources to get treatment,” Garces Mejia said. “I want students to see that a small program like this can have a really big impact.” – BC Did You Know? Providing affordable, comprehensive eye care and screenings, the Vision Care Clinic at Miami Dade College, Medical Campus saw more than 1,000 patients last year. Additionally, the Dental Hygiene Clinic at Medical Campus serviced more than 2,000 patients in 2016, with everything from routine cleanings to periodontal disease education – all at minimal costs.
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