By Lisa Stark Walsh

UTMB medical students recently won a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF) to help bring prevention and health education to the Sikh adult population in the Houston area. Healthy & Sikh: Wellness Fair was developed by the TMA Medical Student Chapter to address specific health issues affecting the community and direct health promotion teaching that is sensitive to the lifestyle of the community.

Set for March, the goal of the health fair is to make a wide range of information available to attendees. Professionals in family medicine, pediatrics, travel health, oncology and other specialties are volunteering, as are the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and others.
Dr. Deborah A. Fuller, member of the TMAF Board of Trustees and UTMB graduate, presented the grant to the students in a visit to campus. In her grant presentation, she said, “The foundation particularly liked the many partnerships you have formed to carry out this project and the role of medical students in organizing the fair.”
Surveys of community members will be conducted to identify the specific areas of teaching that are most needed. Attendees will be given a health fair passport that they can use to accumulate stamps of attendance, which at the end of the health fair will be recognized with a health fair certificate. Pre- and post- health fair surveys will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and receive suggestions on running similar health fairs for upcoming years.  If this project is proven successful, this health fair model can be replicated in other communities.
For more information about TMAF, the philanthropic arm of the state medical association, contact Lisa Stark Walsh at (512) 370-1666 or or go to