Local medical student starts health fair in rural community

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A Piedmont medical student is getting a head start on saving lives well before being called “doctor.”

“Every year has been continued confirmation that this is what I would like to do,” Erin Saner said.

Saner is in her fourth year at Wake Forest School of Medicine.

She grew up in Yadkin County, but also has family ties to Wilkes County.

During her first year of medical school, she served on a mission trip to Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

That time would inspire her to think of ways to make a difference for people in the Piedmont.

Saner admires and appreciates the work done in hospitals, but believes the value of being a doctor is beyond that setting.

“The counterpart to that is getting out in the community and teaching people how to take care of themselves and how to prevent getting in a situation where they become really sick,” she said.

Saner started the Boomer Share the Health Fair.

It was fully operated under her leadership working with fellow medical students.

The health fair launched its first year last fall.

“There are a lot of things that happen in downtown Wilkesboro, things that happen over in Caldwell County, but sort of where the Boomer Community is centered, there wasn’t a lot going on in terms of addressing health care needs.”

Saner also wants to inspire people through her poetry.

She recently self-published some of her writings in “Quarter Life Meditations: A Millennial Perspective” under the name Michelle Saunders (to separate her name from her medical publishing).

Balancing a creative outlet with pursing career goals isn’t easy, but Saner welcomes the challenge of doing both.

“There are always going to be obstacles in the way, but if you’re truly passionate about it, go for it because you never know what will happen.”

Boomer Share the Health Fair will return this year on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Thankful Community Center.