On-campus and Austin community health organizations gathered in the Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom in the Texas Union and threw the Healthcare Fair to promote inclusivity in health care Monday evening.
UT’s Students for Planned Parenthood hosted the Healthcare Fair. The organization operates out of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund to educate the community on sexual health, intersectionality and universal health care through a variety of petitions and events, said Mireya Trevino, president of Students for Planned Parenthood.
Trevino said she wanted to make health care accessible to all people, especially underrepresented groups who feel as though their concerns are not taken as seriously.
“Health care can be scary, especially for folks who are minorities,” said public health Trevino. “There are definitely some perceived barriers.”
Healthy Horns, Austin Public Health and the Gender and Sexuality Center tabled at the event, and the event advertised guest and student speakers, a live paint show and a drag show.
“We wanted to make (the event) fun and accessible,” Trevino said. “We figured discussing health care in a laidback setting would help folks connect.”
Rameen Razzaq, public health senior and Healthy Horns peer educator, said Healthy Horns participated in the event because it supports Students for Planned Parenthood for embracing inclusivity.
“One thing that Healthy Horns likes to do is to be inclusive of everyone, all gender identities (and) sexualties,” Razzaq said.
Shannon Doyle, vice president of Students for Planned Parenthood, said there are always various obstacles which restrict marginalized students from getting the health care they need.
“We all have various needs when it comes to health care, and just being generic about it is not reaching out to everyone,” said Doyle, a history and women’s & gender studies senior. “That’s why I think it’s interesting to have all of these community partners and student organizations who are specific to a group of people and their needs.”
Trevino said Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the United States.
“If we prioritize those with the least amount of access, we can ensure that everyone has access to health care,” Trevino said.
History senior Allison Grove said she attended the event to get information on her health care options.
“I’m a student who doesn’t have health insurance, so I like to get an idea of the different services that are offered on and off campus,” Grove said.