UTSA Mobile Health Lab
UTSA Mobile Health Lab
Top photo: Zenong Yin, chair of the UTSA Department of Health
and Kinesiology, checks blood pressure at the Christmas Under
the Bridge event. Bottom photo: People line up to receive services
from the UTSA Mobile Health Lab.

UTSA students volunteer in mobile health lab

By Ashley Harris
Public Affairs Specialist

(Dec. 14, 2007)--Students faculty and staff from the UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) participated at the City of San Antonio's "Christmas Under the Bridge" event Saturday, Dec. 8. Working out of COEHD's new mobile health lab, the group provided blood pressure checks, weight assessments, and guidance on exercise and healthy eating.

The professors and students also distributed H-E-B gift cards and toys donated by COEHD faculty and staff at the college's holiday party.

"Christmas Under the Bridge" is the city's annual event that provides toys, food and health services to the area's underprivileged and homeless population. The event is held under the Interstate 35 viaduct between Martin, North Pecos, La Trinidad and Houston streets, one block north of the UTSA Downtown Campus.

As one of a kind in Texas, the UTSA Mobile Health Lab focuses on childhood obesity research. Rather than burdening parents of children participating in studies by requiring them to take off work and travel to testing centers, the uniformed testing center is brought to them. This allows for data collection from at-risk children who normally can't participate in study groups.

The mobile health lab also travels to inner-city areas of San Antonio and remote parts of South Texas where health promotion programs are not widely available to provide health screening services, healthy cooking sessions and multimedia-based health education programs.

The 38-foot customized mobile home features a reception area, enclosed area for physical exams, area for drawing blood -- including a bench-top centrifuge and freezer -- a fitness testing station, a nutrition education kitchen, computer stations for instruction and survey research, and an enclosed area for body composition analysis.

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