By Laura Cothran

For students and staff looking to take advantage of health screenings,, to get answers to questions from a variety of health professionals and to make connections with campus and community health resources, this past Monday was a day full of opportunities.Students, faculty and staff took advantage of more than 40 vendors and drawings for prizes at the free health fair held in the Powell Lobby from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The vendors provided information on a variety of wellness topics and health screenings, including spirometry (lung screening), body fat analysis, cholesterol and glucose, postural balance, hearing, vision and mammograms.

Vendors included the American Cancer Association, Madison County Health Department, Kentucky National Guard, Richmond Lyons Club, Anthem, Delta Dental and the Speech Language and Hearing Clinic to name a few.

Twenty prizes will be drawn for employees who participated in the health fair, according to Adrienne Bauer, training, employment and wellness manager for Human Resources. Winners will be contacted directly and will appear on an EKU Today message. Approximately $400 in gifts were donated by EKU Bookstore, Anthem, Sleep Disorders Center, Campus Recreation, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GNC and more.

Free lab tests such as cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index calculations and fitness assessments were given to the first 60 students, faculty and staff.

Kim Stewart, a diversity recruitment specialist staff member, took advantage of the fitness assessment after suspecting an asthma problem.

“Although my results didn’t suggest I had asthma, I realized other problems that showed up on the test,” Stewart said. “These are life-saving things that everyone should take advantage of.”

This year Healthy You! At EKU collaborated with Student Health Services to provide the health fair for the entire campus. Many benefits included wellness resources, enhanced knowledge of health-related topics and preventive screenings.

Bauer said participants benefited from the convenience of the health fair. “Employees and students were able to get health screenings which they may have been putting off,” Bauer said. “I feel that people are now more knowledgeable and aware of wellness.”

When it comes to making wise decisions, Bauer believes that knowledge is power. “In the long term, it will improve the overall quality of health of our employees,” Bauer said. “They will be more aware of healthy lifestyle choices and aware of their own health status.”

Students also agree the health fair provided an eye-opening experience for many.

“I think it’s very important to know your health status, and some people who don’t have access to the types of services offered here can take advantage of the free information,” said Lindsey Baker, a health promotion and administration senior. “The health fair is great because it gives you a chance to learn about healthy behaviors and adapt a positive lifestyle.”

Participants of the Richmond Lyons Club free eye screening reflected on the positive experience.

“I was curious about how bad my eyes were,” said Danny McNabb, a senior programmer analyst staff member. “It turns out I should probably see an optometrist about my vision.”

Chrystal Graham, a custodian staff member, said getting her eyes checked was a really good experience.

“It was the first time I’ve ever had my eyes checked and I found out I have 20/20 vision.”

As a Healthy You! At EKU activity, employees who attended the health fair earned 5 credits for participating, Bauer said.

The employee wellness program, which started March 1, helps all full-time employees improve their knowledge and behavior in making wise decisions toward a healthy lifestyle.

Eastern is one of the first universities to develop an employee wellness program, Bauer said. The goal of Healthy You! At EKU is to encourage an environment that enables Eastern faculty and staff to embrace the wellness opportunities provided and lead an overall improved life.

Program participants may earn wellness credits for attending and practicing healthy behaviors, such as attending the health fair. Employees will also be able to earn credit and learn about nutrition and fitness issues through the Spring Fitness Fling Challenge in the first week of April.

Participants record points they’ve earned online at www.healthyyouateku.com. The points earned will be rewarded with annual incentives including anything from reduction in premium costs to gift certificates or a personal day.

Faculty and staff may take advantage of the many tools available on the Web site, such as a health calculator, a calendar of events, nutrition articles, food and exercise advice and links to benefits.For those who have a problem making healthy food choices on their own, a food finder is provided to combine ingredients around the house into nutritional recipes.

Employees may visit the Healthy You! At EKU wellness Web site to take the 2006 Wellness Assessment worth 10 Wellness Credits. The assessment tabulates a Personal Wellness Score and individual report detailing individual health risk areas and information participants can utilize right away.

To get the most from the report, participants are encouraged to enter their screening results from the Health Fair.

A wellness seminar, “Get Ready, Get Set, Go,” was held on March 7 to teach participants how to add activity to their lifestyle.Those interested may take the “Get Ready, Get Set, Go” interactive wellness seminar online anytime during March by visiting www.healthyyouateku.com.

Presenter Dennis Weisert will be on campus March 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Library Room 208 to learn more about “Diabetes: Physical Activity and Nutrition.”

For more information on the Health Fair or Healthy You! At EKU, call Adrienne Bauer at 622-8186 or e-mail her at adrienne.bauer@eku.edu.

Reach Laura at
laura_cothran@eku.edu