Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Meetings and Events

The Impossible Medical School Warsaw Ghetto ‘43
April 8

Leo Kaplan, MD, Lectureship – Parkinson’s Disease
April 12

Ethics Noon Conference
April 17

These events and more can be found in the medical staff calendar on the Cedars-Sinai website.

Grand Rounds

Upcoming CME Conferences


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Annual Telemundo Health Fair Cares for Thousands


Linda Lesley, RN, takes the blood pressure reading for Yadira Benitez at the 15th Annual Telemundo 52 Health Fair.

For Gail Millan, MN, RN-BC, a thank you hug said it all.

The embrace came from the appreciative 16-year-old son of a woman who Millan, a Cedars-Sinai nursing education program coordinator, patiently guided for 45 minutes during the 15th Annual Telemundo 52 Health Fair on March 17.

Known in Spanish as "La Feria de la Salud," the event is aimed at the local Latino community and provides a broad range of free healthcare and wellness services, along with a day of entertainment. It is intended to help people who receive little or no regular medical attention.

Cedars-Sinai, which has been involved in the fair for the past 10 years, is the event's lead healthcare provider.

The mother who Millan escorted was a poignant example. She hasn’t received regular medical care in years. She showed up—one of the estimated 30,000 people who flocked to the Los Angeles Convention Center—to get eyeglasses for herself and a mental health screening for her teenage son. Fortunately, both of those services were added to the fair this year.

Millan said the 40-year-old woman was "extremely, extremely hesitant" to seek any further care. Yet with encouragement from Millan and the woman's son, and the support of Cedars-Sinai's bilingual nurses who greeted her warmly in Spanish, the woman had a change of heart.

She agreed to get a flu shot—something she had never had before. She also had her blood pressure, blood sugar and total cholesterol screened. Finally, Millan led them over to representatives from the Southside Coalition of Community Health Care Centers, in hopes of securing continuing care.

When it came time to say goodbye, the 16-year-old "embraced me, he hugged me, and said, 'Thank you so much for your kindnesss. Thank you for your patience,'" Millan recalled, holding back tears. It brought home "why we were there," she added.

For Michele Rigsby Pauley, RN, MSN, CPMP, who oversees the fair for Cedars-Sinai and is the interim associate director for Community Health and Education, the woman's story also was emblematic of what the event is all about.

"It's sort of like a one-stop shop," she said. "You can get a lot of healthcare services all in the same place."

Together with its 30 community partners, Cedars-Sinai provided more than 600 staffers and volunteers representing more than 50 Cedars-Sinai departments. In all, they tallied 12,000 "encounters"—instances of one-on-one medical services or health education—with fair attendees.

Those encounters included Maria Alvarado, 64, a cook at a West Los Angeles restaurant who doesn't receive health insurance through her job. She said she has attended the health fair for each of the last 15 years. "I come to do the essentials," Alvarado said.

She added that this year she received a flu vaccine, underwent a mammogram and screening for diabetes and cholesterol.
Alvarado said she has looked for other opportunities to receive free healthcare, but there is "almost nothing," so "the only thing I can do is come year after year."

Cancer screening was added as a service last year and, even though there initially were concerns that the people would be reluctant to discuss the disease, it drew substantial interest. Women, in particular, flocked to the area for mammograms, said Griselda Pantoja, a management assistant in the ambulatory administration office who was staffing the cancer education and screening station.

Some men came for education about prostate cancer, Pantoja said, but in many cases, it was tough to capture their attention. "For them, it was nerve-wracking even to talk about it," Pantoja said.

Some of the other new services added this year were liver screening, body composition screening with cancer risk prevention education, along with education on drunk, drowsy or otherwise distracted driving and education on human trafficking.

"I'm just proud to be part of an organization that is supportive of this type of community service. It's a privilege and an honor to be able to do it every year—and to get support to grow and expand it," Rigsby Pauley said.