By Wendy Sarubbi | February 8, 2016 11:27 am

Participants took a break from the music, food and shopping at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival January 30 to get free health screenings from the UCF College of Medicine. The festival honors Hurston, an author, anthropologist and activist and her hometown of Eatonville FL, the oldest incorporated African-American municipality in the United States.

For the fifth year in a row, the medical school’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) helped sponsor the event. Students, core and volunteer faculty performed vision screenings and other health checks including blood sugar, blood pressure, height, weight and BMI.

For the first time, screenings included biofeedback therapy to promote relaxation and help manage issues such as migraine headaches, chronic pain and hypertension. Students from Jones High School’s medical magnet program helped guide participants through the health screenings and keep track of their results.

Dr. Lisa Barkley, the College of Medicine’s assistant dean for diversity and inclusion and a family, sports and adolescent medicine specialist, said the screenings help students understand first-hand the medical issues underserved communities face and give the college the opportunity to provide care to many who may not have care.

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