What giving back to the community means to the Brothers of the of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter.
As the IS Program Manager, Calvin Beidleman is responsible for information technology services for the Penn State Health Metro Harrisburg Region. Calvin works with leadership to strategize, plan and ensure that the Information Technology is aligned with the business strategies and initiatives. By moving the organization forward with innovations, the IT department provides solid foundation to support and care for the patients so that the hospital continues to be the provider of choice in the community. Working well with the staff and leadership, Calvin prides himself on delivering excellent service, so the clinicians can continue to provide the highest quality of care to the hospital’s patients, families and visitors.
Service to the community is the reason why the Health Fair was created. In 2018, at the request from leadership, Calvin and the Brothers of the of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter, Third District, an unincorporated affiliate of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc started the Health Fair at the Gum Springs Community Center in Fairfax County, Virginia to provide valuable, health-related resources to the members of their community. The primary goals for the Health Fair were and continue to be to educate the community on where and how they can seek help, provide on-site health checks like blood pressure, dental screening, hearing and vision exams and sexually transmitted disease testing as well as offer information on various health topics such as cancer (prostate, breast, and colon) and mental health.
“The Health Fair gives the chapter an opportunity to touch base with the community as well as inform them of community healthcare resources they may not be aware of,” said Calvin. “The Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter partners with national and local healthcare services to provide the community with free healthcare, health screenings and health information they may not have normally been aware of. The Health Fair brings numerous health providers into a central location giving the residents, their family and friends a one stop shop to touch base with providers in one single location.”
Due to COVID restrictions, the 2020 Health Fair was virtual, but the chapter maximized its opportunity.
“The men of Psi Alpha Alpha, in collaboration with other community partners including the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Omicron Theta Zeta Chapter, were able to reach over 4,000 people virtually. It was great! There were several interactive activities presented during the Zoom including a cooking demo on how to make a meal using healthier food choices, Zumba and line dancing. Other topics presented included diabetes, domestic violence and an update on COVID-19 as it was still early into the pandemic,” said Calvin.
The Health Fair has also partnered with the American Cancer Society. During the virtual sessions, a physician would come in and give candid talks on the different types of cancer.
This year, the virtual Health Fair fell on Juneteenth (June 19, 2021). Throughout the fair, significant historical factoids were provided to highlight and honor Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday. The inserts were very informative and a great addition for those in attendance.
“In 2019, there were about 150 people who came in-person for the chapter’s Health Fair on-site event. The Chapter expects between 200 and 300 people next year as the opportunity increases for the community providers to be back in-person,” said Calvin.
Planning for the 2022 Health Fair has already begun. With a hybrid model in mind, the chapter is preparing to host the Health Fair in-person while still offering virtual informational sessions for those who are not able to attend. For the in-person aspect, the fair will offer blood donations and blood pressure checks as well as vision and hearing testing. There is a possibility of the fair stretching over multiple days so that the healthcare providers can offer all their services in order for the residents to be able to utilize all of the offerings.
“We were coming back strong last year, but COVID shut us down. We’re definitely looking forward to next year,” said Calvin.
When Calvin and the Brothers of Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter are not planning the health fairs, they’re volunteering in other ways. In coordination with their philanthropic arm, the Bernie L. Bates Foundation, the chapter hosts annual student scholarship events such as the Talent Hunt showcase, Scholarship Gala, and Memorial Golf Tournament, which allow for them to provide over $15,000 in scholarships and grants annually to students in the community. The chapter also supports the American Diabetes Association in their annual ”Walk for Diabetes” as well as donate and participate in the American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life” event. By putting together races and fundraisers focused on fitness, the fraternity aims to promote a healthy lifestyle that one can do with their family and friends while also supporting the community.
With almost 30 years of experience in the healthcare field, Calvin understands the importance of offering these services to his community.
“I just enjoy being able to give back and show people there are options to support them. A lot of people don’t know what free resources are available to them. At the end of the day, it’s about meeting people where they are which includes bringing healthcare providers and resources to a central location where there are those in need,” said Calvin.
To learn more about the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter (Fairfax County Ques) an unincorporated chapter affiliate of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, click here.
Huntzinger is proud to sponsor the Psi Alpha Alpha Chapter and the Community Health Fair. To learn more about Huntzinger Helps, click here.