Over the summer of 2021, rising UNC junior Micheal Maizel drove to a variety of different Chapel Hill residences to provide free blood pressure and visual acuity screenings to community members.
Though he conceived the idea of providing the screenings during the summer of 2020, he was able to officially implement his plan through a partnership between the Disability Awareness Council and the Cardiovascular Health Education Campaign.
Maizel is the Community Care Program Director at the CHEC. He said he has performed many health examinations on different people in the Triangle area and partnered with similar community organizations.
The CHEC is a nonprofit organization that aims to spread awareness about cardiovascular health and support at-risk groups through research, fundraising and local programming.
College students Kush Chaudhari and Sid Kalala co-founded the organization in 2020.
“In response to the pandemic and seeing how cardiovascular comorbidities have such a drastic impact on disease progression, we thought it would be really interesting to look into cardiovascular health in our communities and look at it from different angles,” Chaudhari said.
One of the CHEC's goals is to prevent poor cardiovascular health through the implementation of different programs to educate and help at-risk individuals with limited access to resources.
After Chaudhari created Nutrition in Neighborhoods in the summer of 2020, an educational program that partners with local food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens, he reached out to Maizel for advice on creating a program that would actively help community members.
Chaudhari said he and Maizel knew each other because they both attended Biotechnology High School in New Jersey together.