The Tar Wars program is a fun and easy scripted one-hour tobacco education program operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians that you can volunteer to do at your local 4th or 5th grade class. It is best if the class size is no more than 30 for optimal interaction.
- Contact the school in which you want to present, speaking with a fourth or fifth-grade teacher (sometimes speaking with the school nurse or principal is also a way to get the ball rolling, especially if you know them). Ask the teacher to have students cut out advertisements about smoking prior to the presentation, and ask her to provide one drinking straw per student.
- Request a presentation from the state coordinator(s) at www.tarwars.org.
- Review the material prior to the presentation.
- Have someone take photos for submission to the local newspaper and PSPA News. The local newspaper may be interested in covering the presentation or the optional poster contest in which the teacher can help coordinate.
Having a stroke screening is a nice service for your community especially during the month of May, stroke awareness month. It serves as a great way to educate the public on the profession through dialogue during the screening and through use of display tables, which can also outline the risk factors for stroke and warning signs of stroke. It also is a way to partner with your PA colleagues, in a time-efficient schedule.
The screening typically consists of a brief personal and family history, BP, and carotid artery auscultation. You can also arrange to have a pharmaceutical company fund a cholesterol screening at the same site.
- Decide where your event will take place and how many people you will potentially screen. If you are requesting space at a mall (it shouldn’t be too noisy for auscultation), you may screen twenty people an hour with 3-4 screeners, perhaps more people if at a busy health fair.
- Contact your local American Stroke Association office at 1-888-478-7653 or http://www.strokeassociation.org/ to obtain the screening forms you will use. They will be able to help publicize the event. These have several copies for the patient and for his or her provider. They will have easy to follow steps and distinct actions for levels of risk. You may want to have a reference list of local providers accepting new patients.
- Bring Up-Close brochures for adults and physician assistant coloring books (and crayons!) to occupy young children at a nearby table.
- Take pictures of your event and send to your newspaper and PSPA News.