Collaborative Health Fair supports area older adults

November 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Faculty, staff and students from Penn State's Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) department in the College of Health and Human Development; the Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence (CGNE) in the College of Nursing; and Penn State’s Center for Healthy Aging, hosted a two-day Health Resource Fair at the Mt. Nittany Residences. Mt. Nittany Residences is an affordable housing complex for older adults in the State College area.

Alyssa Gamaldo, HDFS assistant professor; Amy Lorek, assistant research professor in the Center for Healthy Aging; and Shyuan Tan, HDFS graduate student, co-organized the event with the assistance of Angie Sardina, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, to address the service and information requests of this older adult community. The event served as an opportunity for area service providers to engage with residents while also providing a learning opportunity for undergraduate nursing students to interact and care for older adults.

Among the volunteers were Penn State CGNE Administrator and Community Liaison Janice Whitaker, and Mary Ellen Yonushonis, instructor of the course NURS 310: Care of the Older Adult at University Park. The two coordinated student nurses who, at the residents’ requests, performed blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen level screenings with the assistance of health education and American Heart Association literature. They also provided education on Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative of the John A. Hartford Foundation and Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with an emphasis on the 4 Ms that all medical providers should be addressing during annual wellness visits with older adults — what Matters; Medication; Mentation; and Mobility.

Service members from all across Penn State and Central Pennsylvania, including Penn State Law and Penn State Master Gardeners, and community organizations like the Centre County Office of Aging, Giant Foods, and the Alzheimer’s Association, as well as more than 40 Penn State student and staff volunteers, participated in the event.

The event was sponsored by the Center for Healthy Aging and College of Health and Human Development and received ancillary donations from Giant Foods, Honey Baked Ham Co., Penn State Performing Arts, Walmart, Wegmans, and Weis.


Last Updated November 26, 2019