"The health fair gives me the opportunity to help people who really need care, regardless of their financial situation."
Fresno Medical Center
Practicing medicine in an area where 50% of the population is uninsured, Dr. Sico is acutely aware of the unmet health care needs of her neighbors. So, in addition to fulfilling her duties as Chief of Pediatrics for Fresno, and as Physician-in-Charge, responsible for opening satellite medical offices in Selma and Clovis, she decided to do something for the community.
In partnership with Shirley Steinbeck, RN, Medical Group Administrator, Dr. Sico organized Fresno's first annual Neighbors in Health event in August 2002. Now in its third year, the health fair mobilizes 250 Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and employees, together with the Buddhist Tzu Chi Clinic, which provides dentists, acupuncturists and other volunteers. Participants receive blood pressure checks; blood tests; basic physical exams, including breast exams for women; dental check-ups; and free medications.
“We have a referral system for people we find who have serious health issues,” Dr. Sico reports, “such as the gentleman in his fifties whose blood sugar was nearly 1000, but who had no idea he was diabetic.” The 2004 event provided services to 800 members of the Fresno community.