Fourth-year pharmacy student Elizabeth Cain spent Wednesday morning using free hand sanitizer to lure passers-by to visit her peers at Belmont’s first Health Fair. The fair offered an unprecedented opportunity for Cain’s classmates to gain hands-on experience while on campus, she said.
“This is a great opportunity for students to test their skills, give flu shots and glucose tests. It is a great way for us to share our knowledge,” said Cain while volunteering at the fair. “It is a free service with informative information, and it showcases the graduate schools that are taking part.”
Health Services hosted the five-hour Health Fair to put wellness and preventive health resources within reach of employees and students with free health screenings, pamphlets and prizes. The event in the McWhorter Hall and the Gordon E. Inman Center lobbies marked the launch of a year of monthly seminars on health and wellness as well as current events in health care. It also showed people the unique resources we have right here on our campus, said Director of Health Services Katy Wilson.
“We wanted to make people aware of programs we have and wellness opportunities in the Belmont community,” said Christin Murphy, a graduate assistant in the Department of Fitness and Recreation. She took the body mass index of people who stopped at her booth and encouraged them to lower their numbers by signing up for personal training sessions and fitness classes in Beaman.
“It is important to get out to students that health care is important at any age. This fair could persuade undergrads to consider careers in the health sciences field,” said fourth-year pharmacy student Amanda Harris.
“We are developing a drug education program and need to conduct surveys on drug abuse on college campuses,” said third-year pharmacy student Jaime Tausend, also head of Generation Rx, a patient care project through the American Pharmacy Association that educates people about prescription drug abuse prevention. “The fair lets me reach out to college kids I would not see in the community and get the word out to faculty and staff to help us jump start our program”
The Health Fair coincided with lectures on bath salt abuse, building relationships with healthcare providers and total-body wellness for colleges students. During “10 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Their Health,” physical therapy students discussed healthy eating, gym etiquette and sleep deprivation as well as shared free smart phone applications to help students tract their calorie intake and jogging routes.
Opportunities throughout the day included: blood pressure, glucose, lipids and bone density screenings; backpack awareness and CPR demonstrations; and information on tobacco cessation, breast cancer awareness, counseling, healthy eating, self defense and recreation.
Wilson said Health Services plans to host a similar health fair during a spring basketball game to reach Belmont’s neighbors and sports fans.