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Letters to the Editor  |   November 2008
Osteopathic Medicine and Community Health Fairs: Increasing Public Awareness While Improving Public Health
Author Affiliations
  • John B. Crosby, JD
    American Osteopathic Association Chicago, Ill
    Executive Director
Article Information
Preventive Medicine
Letters to the Editor   |   November 2008
Osteopathic Medicine and Community Health Fairs: Increasing Public Awareness While Improving Public Health
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2008, Vol. 108, 630-670. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2008.108.11.630
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, November 2008, Vol. 108, 630-670. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2008.108.11.630
To the Editor:  
Please accept my commendations regarding the August special communication article about community health fairs by Heather M. Stamat, DO, and colleagues.1 I found the study inspiring—not only for demonstrating that health fairs can increase public awareness of osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medicine, but also for showing that advocacy efforts can be conducted while also providing for the greater good of one's community. 
As the executive director of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), I am proud to report that our board of trustees unknowingly proved the results of the Stamat et al1 study during its board retreat in New Orleans, La, in April. Through collaboration with Heart to Heart International, several board members and their spouses staffed a health fair in the St Bernard parish of New Orleans, an area that was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Virtually all of this neighborhood's 28,000 homes were demolished during that storm. The community outreach of the April health fair provided much-needed healthcare access and services to more than 100 residents of the parish. Interested readers can learn more about this mission trip in my “Executive Director's Desk” column in the May issue of The DO magazine.2 
Readers of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association may also be interested to learn that the National Osteopathic Medical Association (NOMA) recently provided guests at the 113th AOA Annual Convention and Scientific Seminar, in Las Vegas, Nev, with an opportunity to perform community service. 
On October 25, NOMA held a health fair—as it has during the past several years for the AOA convention's host city. This year, the NOMA health fair was held for inner-city and homeless residents of Nevada at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. 
With the assistance of volunteers from the AOA and other service organizations, NOMA conducted health screenings for adults and children. An on-site clinic provided necessary followup care. Since NOMA initiated this annual project, it has raised close to $20,000 for homeless individuals in AOA convention host cities.3 
I would like to thank the JAOA for the opportunity to comment on the excellent study by Stamat et al1 and to encourage further efforts that build on the work of these researchers. 
Stamat HM, Injety KR, Liechty DK, Pohlod CA, Aguwa MI. Osteopathic medicine and community health fairs: increasing public awareness while improving public health. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:397-403. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/8/397. Accessed October 20, 2008.
Crosby JB. Professional service paves the way for greatness. The DO. May 2008:49:16-17. Available at: https://www.do-online.org/pdf/pub_do0508exec.pdf. Accessed October 20, 2008.
NOMA health fair a success. AOA Conventioneer. Overland Park, Kan: TriStar Publishing Inc; October 26-30, 2008:7. Available at: http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/tristar/aoa08-1/#/6. Accessed November 4, 2008.