Tag Archives: Costa Layman Health Fair

10th Anniversary: Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates decade of service

Ten years ago, Costa Layman Farms and the Georgia Regents University College of Nursing took a bold and important step into the field of personalized, preventive health care when they partnered to offer a health fair for workers at the South Carolina plant nursery.

At times the task proved daunting. Language barriers and social stigmas had the potential to make caring for farmworkers difficult, but with the leadership of GRU faculty, a commitment from student and alumni volunteers, and the help of community partners, the job became easier. Their efforts have resulted in more than 2,500 free health screenings for hundreds of farmworkers.

Years later, students and alumni say they continue to be inspired by their experiences at the Costa Layman Health Fair, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday.

Two years ago, Allyson Wilson was a Clinical Nurse Leader student at GRU.

“As one of the student leaders of the health fair, I was responsible for organizing data collection as well as assisting in developing a data collection tool that allowed us to view trends in variables,” she said.

Wilson, now a Staff Nurse at Georgia Regents Medical Center, said the fair has become a regular part of her life.

“It was such a rewarding experience that I continued helping throughout the year with preparations for the fair,” she said. “I look forward to it every year, now. It’ll be something I’m involved with as long as I live in the area.”

Elisa Jenks, a Perinatal Staff Nurse at GRU, has a similar love for the fair. She said volunteering as a CNL student was a life-changing experience not only because of the lessons it taught her, but also because of the people it exposed her to.

“I love Hispanic culture,” said Jenks. “I’m always amazed by how kind the people are at the health fair. I’ve never been treated unkindly by anyone there. In fact, they’ve always greeted me with a smile.”

Jenks, the first recipient of the Layman Family Scholarship – a scholarship awarded to fluent Spanish-speaking students with a desire to serve Hispanic communities – said the health fair has helped her almost as much as some of the patients.

“I think I used to look at community health as a very foreign concept,” Jenks said. “Like, I’m this person that can make such a difference in other people’s lives. But that concept is so backwards. Being at the fair has taught me that I’m the one being impacted and changed.”

Aprile Osborn, a Biobehavioral Nursing instructor, volunteered as part of the 2009 health fair. She said her experience was very similar.

It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” she said. “It was so humbling to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Having grown up locally, Osborn said the health fair helped her to be understand the needs of the underserved.

Growing up in this community where access to healthcare is so readily available, it was hard for me to fathom people living otherwise,” she said. “Being involved in the Layman project really opened my eyes to a population that I knew existed, but had never really known.”

Jimmy George, a Physiological and Technological Nursing instructor, first participated in the 2011 health fair. He said he’s happy to see how far the health fair has come in that short amount of time.

“I am so excited to see the growth of the health fair each year,” he said. “It has only been possible by the selfless commitment and dedication of Pam Cromer and Debbie Layman.”

Based on the past year’s health fair experience, George and Cromer presented a podium presentation titled “CostaLayman Health Fair – A CNL organized, Interdisciplinary Initiative: A Model for Community-based Disease Prevention” in Dallas to a National CNL conference in October 2014.

Joshua Dunn, Stroke Program Coordinator at Emory University, said the health fair drove him to new heights and inspired him to continue helping others.

“I have continued my passion for outreach into underserved, underinsured populations within the metro-Atlanta area,” Dunn said. “That passion was definitely ignited that year at Layman’s Health Fair.”

But experience and passion aren’t the only things he took away from his time volunteering.

“I think of Debbie Layman (a College of Nursing alumnus and former manager at Costa Layman Farms) every time I’m in Lowe’s or Home Depot,” he said. “I see the plant carts labeled with Costa or Layman stamps, and think of those very sweet people in South Carolina. What a sweet woman, and such a dedicated group of individuals.”

The Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday, July 17, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, South Carolina.

To stay up to date with GRU’s College of Nursing, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GRUCONursing.

Spanish-English translators needed for farmworker’s health fair

The Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, July 17, at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, SC.

The Georgia Regents University College of Nursing is looking for volunteers to serve as Spanish-English translators for this year’s health fair. Any interested faculty, staff or students are encouraged to apply.

The Costa Layman Health Fair provides free health screenings for workers at Costa Layman Farms, one of the country’s largest perennial plant farms. In 2013, more than 300 workers received free health screenings, many of whom did not otherwise have access to health care.

“Every summer, GRU students, faculty, and alumni volunteer their time to make the health fair a success for Costa Layman employees,” said Debbie Layman, College of Nursing alumna and Georgia Health Sciences Foundation board member. “These volunteers are not only doing screenings, but facilitating research, communication, and logistics. Our volunteer translators are an invaluable part of navigating that process.”

If you are available to volunteer as a Spanish-English translator on July 17, or if you would like more information about volunteering, please contact Eileen Brandon at 706-825-4779 or ebrandon@gru.edu.

Scholarship recognizes students serving Hispanic populations

Trenton, S.C. – More than 100 people from Georgia Regents University volunteer to provide free health screenings at an annual health fair serving workers at one of the country’s largest perennial farms.

A few, however, in particular have been for their interest in serving Hispanic communities.

Every year, the Layman Family Scholarship Endowment awards an outstanding nursing student with a desire to contribute to the Latino community. The scholarship is awarded to a student who is fluent in Spanish and dedicated to helping those who are Spanish-speaking or Hispanic.

“I love the language. I love the culture,” said Elisa Jenks, the scholarship’s first recipient and a GRU College of Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader alumna who has returned to volunteer at the annual Costa Layman Health Fair in Trenton, S.C., for four years. “I have loved doing this ever since I was in school. My first year was my last year in nursing school. I have loved it and come back ever since.”

The event, in its 9th year, is sponsored by the GRU College of Nursing and coordinated by Clinical Nurse Leader students under the leadership of Dr. Pam Cromer. Last month, more than 300 workers received screenings of their eyes, teeth, skin, height, weight, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, heel bone density, grip strength, pulmonary function, and more.

“I’ve developed a great relationship with this farm and these workers,” said Jenks, who now works in the Perinatal Unit at Georgia Regents Medical Center. “I think they saw my passion for this environment, for the Hispanic population.”

It’s a passion that has come full circle for Jenks.

Now a clinical instructor for the CNL program, she taught Maria Cleveland, the latest Layman scholarship recipient, in her first clinical setting.

“She’s a great student. She was very good with patients,” Jenks said. “Maria just shined. She’s a star. She loves her patients. She really cares about them, and you can see that.”

Cleveland, 26, of Augusta, said the health fair provided her with invaluable firsthand experience and exposure to community medicine, research, and language translation that she can use in her future career.

“Getting to be a CNL student is a stepping stone to what I’m going to do next. There are all sorts of different things you can do with a nursing degree,” said Cleveland, who earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish at Georgia Institute of Technology. “I was honored to be chosen for this scholarship. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know Ms. Debbie Layman. I’m really interested in getting out and working in communities. It’s been really interesting learning how a health fair like this is actually set up, what all goes into it, and how you can get the other disciplines involved.”

The health fair screenings are provided through an interdisciplinary effort in conjunction with the Medical College of Georgia, College of Dental Medicine, College of Allied Health Sciences, Institute of Public and Preventive Health, Georgia Prevention Center, and the Ryan White Program.

“So many people from Georgia Regents University volunteer at our annual health fair. They give their time and energy in an effort to provide our employees with information to make educated health care decisions and look after their future health and well-being,” said Debbie Layman, a manager at Costa Layman Farms and a College of Nursing alumna. “We’re grateful to them and for the dedication of our scholarship recipients.”

The health fair has grown, both in terms of number of volunteers and screenings provided. What started as a simple health check for workers now includes a full physical, lab results, and access to a mobile HIV testing unit.

“This is a great screening program, and it’s just come so far,” said Jenks, who was volunteering at an occupational therapy station with a demonstration on body mechanics, including safe ways to bend over, lift, and pull. “The workers do tons of different jobs, and a lot of them don’t know how to protect their backs. Once you have back problems, you always have back problems, so we really want to teach them the proper way to lift, the proper way to pull, to teach them to protect their backs. Costa Layman Farms really cares about its workers and wants to protect them from those problems.”

Learn more about the CNL program in the GRU College of Nursing.

Learn more about Costa Layman Farms.

Farm workers screened at annual health fair

Students at Georgia Regents University conducted free health screenings for area farm workers in an annual health fair organized by the GRU College of Nursing.

It was held Friday at Costa Layman Nurseries, one of the largest perennial farms in the United States.

More than 300 employees from the Trenton, S.C., nursery had access to free screenings and bilingual health information, including lab work; skin, vision, dental, respiratory, blood pressure, HIV, and bone density screenings; nutrition counseling; and occupational and physical therapy.

The Costa Layman Health Fair has provided more than 2,500 free health screenings to workers in its nine-year history.

Thanks from Costa Layman Farms

I want to thank the more than 100 Georgia Regents University volunteers who provided free health screenings for 330 workers July 19 at the 8th Annual Costa Layman Health Fair in Trenton, S.C. The event has been sponsored for the past eight years by the GRU College of Nursing and is coordinated by its Clinical Nurse Leader students. To date, nearly 2,500 health screenings have been performed at Costa Layman Farms, one of the largest perennial farms in the United States.

During the event, university volunteers examined workers’ eyes, teeth and skin. They measured height, weight, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and heel bone density, and performed tests for grip strength, sleep apnea, and pulmonary function. These assessments will empower our employees to make decisions that will positively impact their future health. Many Costa Layman workers need help navigating their way through an increasingly complicated health care system, and the screenings offer the information needed to make educated choices about how to seek proper health care solutions.

I am always inspired by the generosity of the volunteers from the GRU Colleges of Nursing, Dental Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, and the Medical College of Georgia, and how they continue to lend a hand to help those in our community. I would especially like to thank Dr. Pam Cromer in the College of Nursing; Dr. William Strong with the GRU Institute of Public and Preventive Health; Drs. Yanbin Dong and Dr. Jigar Bhagatwala in the Georgia Prevention Center; Dr. Carol Hanes in the College of Dental Medicine; Drs. Andrew Mazzoli, Mariam Cortez-Cooper, and Mariana D’Amico in the College of Allied Health Sciences; David Thompson and the GRU Ryan White Program; Vivian Rice in the Department of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services, and Librarian Peter Shipman. I would also like to thank students with the College of Dental Medicine’s Hispanic Student Dental Association, who each provided approximately 166 oral screenings at this year’s event.

Thanks to all those who gave their time, energy, and compassion to provide this valuable community service. 

 

Sincerely,

Debbie Layman

GRU students to offer free health screenings at local nursery

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Health sciences students at Georgia Regents University will offer free health screenings at the 8th Annual Costa Layman Health Fair from 7:30 a.m. to noon Friday, July 19 in Trenton, S.C. The health fair is organized by the GRU College of Nursing, under the leadership of Dr. Pam Cromer, and is sponsored by the college’s Clinical Nurse Leader program, with support from the Colleges of Dental Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, and the Medical College of Georgia. New this year is the development of a relationship with Dr. Yanbin Dong, Dr. Jigar Bhagatwala, and others in the Georgia Prevention Center’s “Public Health Collaborative Partnership” for ongoing population health assessments.

Approximately 340 Costa Layman employees will receive free health assessments, including lab work, dental screenings, and screenings for height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, vision, dental, skin, grip strength testing, heel bone density, sleep apnea screening, pulmonary function, and exhaled nitric oxide.

Multidisciplinary student led screenings will be directed by GRU’s multiprofessional faculty teams. Other faculty will include Dr. Andrew Mazzoli and Dr. Carol Hanes who have worked with the health fair for many years. In addition, Dr. Miriam Cortez-Cooper and her students will be screening for hand/grip strength, and Dr. Mariana D’Amico will be instructing workers on good body mechanics and proper lifting and bending. GRU Librarian Peter Shipman will distribute handouts on various health disparities. With a focus on health prevention, students and faculty will provide group and individual health education and counseling sessions specific to screening booths.

“Over the last eight years, the Costa Layman Health Fair has performed nearly 2,500 health screenings,” said Debbie Layman, Manager at Costa Layman Farms, one of the largest perennial farms in the United States. “The glucose, cholesterol, and vitamin D screenings are simple tests that can empower employees to make decisions that will positively impact their future health.”

“This event is very engrained in the culture of the nursery,” Layman said. “The Health Fair gives us an opportunity to benefit our employees by offering comprehensive health screenings while they are at the work site. Many people, who work at Costa Layman did not grow up with regular health care, do not know how to navigate the health care system or are afraid of going to the doctor. The health care professionals providing the screenings are some of the most highly regarded in our area and over the years have built a relationship of trust and confidence with our employees. The screenings offered provide both peace of mind that all is well or that information needed to make educated choices about how to seek the proper health care solution will be received. This Health Fair shows the impact a collaboration between a university and a private employer can have when partnering together to provide high quality health care and resources in the work setting.”

The GRU Ryan White Program, led by David Thompson, will return for the eighth year and share results from HIV testing with farm workers, most of whom are Spanish speaking. Certified Translators, led by Vivian Rice in the Department of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services at GRU, will serve as on-site interpreters. The Georgia Prevention Center at GRU and St. Vincent De Paul Health Clinic will perform additional lab work and provide referrals to appropriate medical professionals for follow up. Other organizations participating in the health fair will include Carolina Health Centers, Inc. of McCormick, SC, Eye Care One & Eye Care One Laser Vision Center of Augusta.

This “Academic-Community Partnership Model” is key in GRU’s outreach programs throughout the university. It is a premier example of how a multidisciplinary healthcare workforce can approach our communities and businesses and demonstrate the capacity to work collaboratively with health teams to efficiently extend needed health services to populations and communities. With a movement toward healthier communities, the delivery of primary care to work sites and communities has far reaching implications for improving the health of our populations and the education of our future healthcare workforce.

GRU students to offer free health screenings at local nursery

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Health sciences students at Georgia Regents University will offer free health screenings at the 8th Annual Costa Layman Health Fair from 7:30 a.m. to noon Friday, July 19 in Trenton, S.C. The health fair is organized by the GRU College of Nursing, under the leadership of Dr. Pam Cromer, and is sponsored by the college’s Clinical Nurse Leader program, with support from the Colleges of Dental Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, and the Medical College of Georgia. New this year is the development of a relationship with Dr. Yanbin Dong, Dr. Jigar Bhagatwala, and others in the Georgia Prevention Center’s “Public Health Collaborative Partnership” for ongoing population health assessments.

Approximately 340 Costa Layman employees will receive free health assessments, including lab work, dental screenings, and screenings for height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, vision, dental, skin, grip strength testing, heel bone density, sleep apnea screening, pulmonary function, and exhaled nitric oxide.

Multidisciplinary student led screenings will be directed by GRU’s multiprofessional faculty teams. Other faculty will include Dr. Andrew Mazzoli and Dr. Carol Hanes who have worked with the health fair for many years. In addition, Dr. Miriam Cortez-Cooper and her students will be screening for hand/grip strength, and Dr. Mariana D’Amico will be instructing workers on good body mechanics and proper lifting and bending. GRU Librarian Peter Shipman will distribute handouts on various health disparities. With a focus on health prevention, students and faculty will provide group and individual health education and counseling sessions specific to screening booths.

“Over the last eight years, the Costa Layman Health Fair has performed nearly 2,500 health screenings,” said Debbie Layman, Manager at Costa Layman Farms, one of the largest perennial farms in the United States. “The glucose, cholesterol, and vitamin D screenings are simple tests that can empower employees to make decisions that will positively impact their future health.”

“This event is very engrained in the culture of the nursery,” Layman said. “The Health Fair gives us an opportunity to benefit our employees by offering comprehensive health screenings while they are at the work site. Many people, who work at Costa Layman did not grow up with regular health care, do not know how to navigate the health care system or are afraid of going to the doctor. The health care professionals providing the screenings are some of the most highly regarded in our area and over the years have built a relationship of trust and confidence with our employees. The screenings offered provide both peace of mind that all is well or that information needed to make educated choices about how to seek the proper health care solution will be received. This Health Fair shows the impact a collaboration between a university and a private employer can have when partnering together to provide high quality health care and resources in the work setting.”

The GRU Ryan White Program, led by David Thompson, will return for the eighth year and share results from HIV testing with farm workers, most of whom are Spanish speaking. Certified Translators, led by Vivian Rice in the Department of Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services at GRU, will serve as on-site interpreters. The Georgia Prevention Center at GRU and St. Vincent De Paul Health Clinic will perform additional lab work and provide referrals to appropriate medical professionals for follow up. Other organizations participating in the health fair will include Carolina Health Centers, Inc. of McCormick, SC, Eye Care One & Eye Care One Laser Vision Center of Augusta.

This “Academic-Community Partnership Model” is key in GRU’s outreach programs throughout the university. It is a premier example of how a multidisciplinary healthcare workforce can approach our communities and businesses and demonstrate the capacity to work collaboratively with health teams to efficiently extend needed health services to populations and communities. With a movement toward healthier communities, the delivery of primary care to work sites and communities has far reaching implications for improving the health of our populations and the education of our future healthcare workforce.