Nursing students reach out to Hispanic community members

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Hispanic community members came to Dixie State University for free health checkups, trainings and a tour of a firetruck Saturday. 

Teaming up with the St. George Police Department, the DSU Nursing Association provided free blood pressure tests, dental checkups, body mass index screenings and eye exams at the Feria de la Salud y la Seguridad, meaning Health and Safety Fair. The event took place in the parking lot of the Russell C. Taylor Health Science Building.

Nursing students also provided community members with information on how to stay healthy and safe. 

Jennie Garcia, a junior nursing major from St. George, organized the event with the help of her husband, Rudy Garcia, who is a patrol officer for the St. George Police Department.

Jennie Garcia said she hopes to make the Feria de la Salud y la Seguridad an annual event and future partnership opportunity with the police department. She said the reason DSUNA reached out to the Hispanic community was to help them feel included and that they have the same resources as others.

“A lot of times in St. George, we assume everyone speaks English, so we don’t really consider that we need to have a translator or have someone there that can kind of cater to people who don’t speak English,” Jennie Garcia said. 

Carly Coons, a junior nursing major from Alpine, said she enjoyed teaching community members about different health and safety topics. 

“A lot of nursing is teaching, and so [this event] gives us an opportunity to teach,” Coons said. “If we keep [Hispanic community members] safe and healthy, then they have less people in the hospital and less people sick. As we reach out as nurses, it’s kind of prevention first.” 

Ron Allen, a St. George Fire Department firefighter attended the event to give children tours of a fire engine. He said the event was also helpful for students to learn more about emergency services in the community. 

“The DSU students have an opportunity here to learn also what we do as far as emergency services and how in depth that goes,” Allen said. 

Rudy Garcia said it was nice to see different organizations like the DSUNA and police department “come together as one unit” to help community members for a day. 

“This is why I became an officer — so I can help people,” Rudy Garcia said. 

Additional reporting by Ally Hunter.