On Saturday, June 26, students in Bay Path University's Physician Assistant program, in partnership with Gandara Health Services, hosted a wellness fair for Springfield and Springfield-area residents. With a focus on mental health, physical health screenings, substance abuse disorders, and healthy eating and exercising, the MLK Wellness Fair encompassed culturally sensitive mental and physical health maintenance and chronic disease management, offering visitors information that they may not have been able to receive as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the accessibility of care.
In January of 2021, Bay Path student Neha Rana presented the idea for a wellness fair and was awarded Bay State Health's 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Award. By partnering with Gandara Health Center, an agency that delivers behavioral health, substance use, and preventative services for their clients, the fair was able to focus on the devastating effects the pandemic made on the well-being of Springfield-area communities.
UMass medical students, who were awarded the other Bay State Health's 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Award for their MLK Food Justice Fair, were also in attendance to provide education on healthy and affordable food options for the community.