Community-Based Research


Download the poster: UTS Health Awareness Program Poster


Establishing Long-term Medical Follow-up in an Underserved, High-risk Population Identified at a Local Health Fair

Sandeep Mehta, BA; Rima Shah, BS; Krishna Sajja, BS; Katherina Avila, BS

Mentor: Nora Gimpel, MD

Context: UT Southwestern’s annual United to Serve (UTS) community health fair, is an effort driven by students with the aid of faculty and staff of UT Southwestern Medical Center. The health fair attracts about 1000 attendees from the local community, a significant portion of whom have undiagnosed and unmanaged chronic cardiovascular disease (CVD). Additionally, many do not have an established medical home. Previously, the fair has focused on health education and screenings. We are interested in establishing a follow-up system to address the overall impact of these activities.

Objective: To identify a cohort of UTS attendees that meet high-risk criteria for CVD and to ensure that they are matched with a medical home to receive continuity of care.

Design: Cohort prospective study. Setting: A local health fair in Dallas, TX. Participants: Adult health fair attendees. Intervention: After an initial assessment using the Framingham score, attendees identified at moderate and high risk will complete clinical measurements (fasting glucose, lipid panel, blood pressure, and BMI) and receive information about community clinics. Quarterly follow-up phone calls will determine if attendees established ongoing healthcare management.

Preliminary Results: We identified 105 individuals who meet moderate and/or high-risk criteria for CVD, and we were able to follow-up with 35 patrons six months after the event. We found that 65% (n=23) of those contacted visited a primary care physician (PCP) within six months. Of these individuals, 57% (n=13) were diagnosed with a chronic disease, which include hypertension (35%, n=6), hypercholesterolemia (59%, n=10), and type II diabetes mellitus (6%, n=1). After diagnosis by a PCP, 47% (n=8) of diseases are being treated with medicines, and 35% (n=6) are being treated by diet and exercise alone. These data suggest that screening at UTS has helped individuals at high risk for CVD establish follow-up with a PCP and decrease overall health risk factors.

Conclusions: Results of the study will be used to better assess the impact that UTS has on the community it serves annually. Furthermore, these data should allow us to construct an appropriate screening and referral system.