While studying together in medical school, Chris Price, Conner Bancroft and Andy Shine decided to find a way to give back to their community.
“We were kind of trying to figure out what we wanted to do this summer and we decided we wanted to do something that will help Meridian out,” Price said.
Earlier this year, the three Meridian natives created the Student Health Coalition while attending the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
The coalition will host a health clinic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 20 at the Tommy Dulaney Center at Meridian Community College. The event, which is free for people 18 and older, will include checks for blood pressure, diabetes and BMI. On hand will be MCC nursing students as well as nurses and doctors from local hospitals and the Greater Meridian Health Clinic.
Price, who has always had a passion for medicine, said the event is a way to help people in need.
"We have a unique opportunity to help people that might not have access to medical care for a variety of reasons,” Price said.
Bancroft said health clinics are offered in other cities, and there's a need in Meridian. The fair will help address some of the state's health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
“To come back and do something that has never been done in Meridian, I wanted to take advantage while I had the chance,” he said. “The big thing is to try something different.” Bancroft said.
For Shine, who studied public health at Ole Miss, the fair will also help people receive primary care instead of waiting until there's a problem and going to the emergency room.
“We want to make health care not a scary subject,” Shine said.
Looking ahead, the trio hope the coalition will become self-sustaining so they can offer more health fairs. They also want to encourage other young people to find ways to help their communities.
"You don’t have to be in the medical field to make a difference,” Bancroft said.