Community finds fun and health information at UAMS Midsouth Black Expo

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Beatriz Mondragon with the Arkansas Minority Health Commission provides a health screening for Marcovous Williams during the UAMS Midsouth Black Expo.

Mario settles down

Mario settles down

MS Midsouth Black Expo revealed that she suffers from high blood pressure.

“I came to get more information about my health,” said Williams, who was among more than 2,500 attendees at The Venue at Westwind exhibit in North Little Rock. “I need a mammogram, and have just been told I need to see a doctor for my high blood pressure, which I will do as soon as possible because strokes, high blood pressure and diabetes are common in my family. So I’m really glad I came.

The exhibit, presented by UAMS, brought together a community of artists, healthcare institutions, businesses and other organizations. It featured 80 vendors, cultural and historical exhibits, food, giveaways, and live music, including Rodney Black, the St. Mark Choir, and a marching band festival.

Cancer survivor Mario Settles helped kick off the event as part of a panel of business owners showcasing The Black Entrepreneur’s Journey. For Settles, being diagnosed with lymphoma at age 32 changed his life. Now 34 and in remission after two years of treatment, the owner of TrukPLEASE advises budding entrepreneurs to get started. “What are you waiting for?” he said during the roundtable.

“When you’re 32, you feel like you have all the time in the world, whereas when you’re diagnosed with cancer, you realize you don’t have all the time in the world.” he declared.

Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, MD, of UAMS, and Crystal Smith with UAMS MammoVan.

The UAMS MammoVan mobile mammography unit was also on hand to provide breast cancer screening mammograms.

Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, MD, of UAMS, said having the MammoVan at the show made it easier for women to be screened.

“At events like today where we have a great community of people, African American women and others, it’s so important for us to be here to talk about the importance of early cancer detection. breast using screening mammography,” said Bryant-Smith, chief of the UAMS Breast Imaging Division and director of the UAMS Breast Center and Mobile Mammography Program Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. “We know that finding cancers when they’re smaller increases overall survival rates, so we really want to educate the community and provide opportunities for mammography screening.”

During the Ask a Black Doctor roundtable, Karen Crowell, MD, of UAMS, urged the public to use health resources available in the community.

“Put the effort into yourself. You are worth it,” said Crowell, contractor for the Department of Surgery at the College of Medicine and physician educator and clinical coordinator of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. “Treat your body well; feed your body well. You weren’t supposed to sit still. Exercise as medicine can take you much further than the multiple pills people take. There are also diseases we can help prevent, and we can save lives through early diagnosis and treatment. »

Karen Crowell, MD (right) of UAMS and Crystal Croswell helped participants enroll in annual home colorectal screening tests.

Karen Crowell, MD (right) of UAMS and Crystal Croswell helped participants enroll in annual home colorectal screening tests.

Theresa Timmons, one of the expo’s main organizers, said the free event was a great way to communicate the importance of good health so people can pursue their dreams.

“One of the main goals is to take care of us through health screenings,” she said. “And what an amazing way to do this with the support, partnership and sponsorship of UAMS, which provides these services free of charge to people who otherwise could not go to the doctor.”

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