Last month, Vincentian organization Islandwide Fitness asked the Trinity chapter of the American Medical Students Association (AMSA) to support The Glow Run, a local 10k running event with thousands of participants. Islandwide Fitness has a state goal of addressing two chronic health issues that trouble the island of St. Vincent, hypertension and diabetes. So in addition to promoting physical fitness itself, they had Trinity students on scene to perform blood glucose and blood pressure checks.
Director of Islandwide Fitness Keyon Constance explained, “The Glow Run exists for two reasons, both of which should help address the national issues of diabetes and hypertension.” He continued, “First, to get participants involved in physical activity in general. Then, to help people get glucose and blood pressure checks to stay informed of their own health. This is why we reached out to Trinity and had AMSA establish the health fair. ” AMSA students explain to the runners what their numbers mean, whether they’re high or low. With prior checks AMSA has done, this helps them monitor personal trends and just remind them to stay on top of their personal health.” The Trinity students were placed around the staging area for the event, and Islandwide Fitness offered door prizes to those runners who took part to further bolster participation.
Fourth term student, Anitesh Jaswal, had worked at a previous Glow Run. The event has grown dramatically since then, but he and his colleagues took it in stride. He noted, “I think it shows that people are aware of the problem and we think it’s a good thing that they are getting checked, to be ahead of any issues they may have; and that’s really the goal – to make people aware that these issues do exist.” Though quite happy to do checks for runners, Anitesh was still aware of the limitations as students, careful not to cross ethical boundaries. “It’s a good thing that people are getting checked. If they have any issues, we direct them to their doctor. We’re still students, but it’s great we can take part and gain the clinical experience.”
Race director Keyon Constance continued, “The fight against diabetes and hypertension is real. Random health checks are important and with the help of Trinity and AMSA, people about to run can now be more informed.”
Fourth term Trinity student Spencer Allen added, “I feel great assisting the fight against diabetes and hypertension. This isn’t our home but we’re living here. We’ve been welcomed by these people while we study. Sometimes the time and resources just aren’t there for folks to get the care they need, so if we can help, it’s useful.”
When asked about working events like this into their schedule, Anitesh said, “It’s an easy decision, doing this,” he acknowledged, “I simply want to help people. I would like people to be healthy and lead better lives. Good healthcare should available everywhere. It’s why we’re becoming doctors.”
Participation in the Glow Run was high and wide-ranged. Participants included a nine month old with his parents, all the way up to a seventy-five year old grandfather. As the events continue through the years, Trinity AMSA plans to be right there, taking part.