Nursing students to host senior citizen health fair

For a second year, students in the Radford University School of Nursing are hosting a health fair for senior citizens in the New River Valley.

The fair on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Christiansburg Recreation Center is an outreach project for students enrolled in the community health nursing course and is being offered in conjunction with the Area Agency on Aging. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the School of Social Work will also participate, nursing Professor Emeritus Maggie Bassett said.

"The intent of the fair is to provide health information to residents of the New River Valley older than 55 years to help them become aware of healthy options available to them," Bassett said. "Several screenings will also be offered."

The Area Agency on Aging sponsors Friendship Cafes for seniors across the New River Valley, offering a warm meal and fellowship. The agency will transport 47 participants in its cafe programs to the fair. Organizers said they hope to see at least 100 senior citizens at the event.

The major university partners for the event are the nursing students in Instructor Sarah Gilbert's gerontology course; students studying social work and communication sciences and disorders; and students of nutrition Associate Professor Jyotsna Sharman.

Bassett said one of the content areas of the community health nursing course is program management. "The health fair allows the students to put all these concepts into practice. The students assessed their target communities in the New River Valley, planned the fair, made arrangements for a central location, contacted the agency vendors, arranged for donations of healthy foods from area businesses and developed strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of the fair."

Vendors at the fair will include University Physical Therapy, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Carilion Clinics, Shenandoah Podiatry, the Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office and the Christiansburg and Blacksburg rescue squads.

To learn more, email Bassett at

Feb 26, 2013
Bonnie Erickson
(540) 831-5804