For the second year, Des Moines University teamed up with Easter Seals Iowa to present a Health & Wellness Fair tailored to people with disabilities and their support teams.
“The Easter Seals Iowa and DMU partnership stemmed from a desire on both sides to raise awareness, increase health outcomes and improve access and understanding of the unique health care needs of individuals with disabilities,” said Meghan Klier, assistant director for case management at Easter Seals Iowa.
More than 200 people attended the free, public event, which featured health screenings by DMU students, kids activities and a variety of vendors providing important resources. DMU students and clinicians also worked in interprofessional teams to provide full physicals to a group of Easter Seals clients who needed to meet somatic care requirements.
“DMU and Easter Seals Iowa are natural partners,” said Steven Slye, Easter Seals Iowa director – Supported Community Living Programs. “Both organizations are committed to providing quality health care services to our community and are interested in finding unique ways to do so. This year’s health fair is a great example of how organizations that are interested in supporting underserved populations can work together for the betterment of our community.”
Attendees weren’t the only ones to benefit from the event. Providing screenings and participating in the physicals also afforded a hands-on, cross-program learning opportunity for DMU students.
“This was my first real experience as a PA working with a D.O.,” said Joe Kaisersatt, PA’16. “I found the mutual respect we had was very encouraging. I believe DMU has helped cultivate these positive interprofesional relationships which makes me very proud to be part of DMU. I felt we worked as a great team and I look forward to future PA-physician relationships thanks to this experience.”
Students also increased their confidence in serving patients with special needs.
“This experience was one of my best in medical school simply due to the nature of the work,” said Anthony Camodeca, D.O.’17. “I was able to learn how to approach patients with disabilities and that it is okay to still have a sense of humor with these patients.”