ISSUED: 6 February 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Wellness Center has expanded its health and wellness offerings with the help of the departments of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Sport (HPERS) and Nursing Education.
This new initiative, Collaborative Health Initiative Program (CHIP), was developed by Jennifer Seeley, clinical faculty and assistant director of the Wellness Center; James Sweeney, Wellness Center director; Dr. Stacey Kendig, chair of the department of HPERS; and Dr. Sharon Mailey, chair of the Department of Nursing Education, in an effort to enhance awareness of overall health and wellness programs available to all surrounding community members.
The new program will give students in HPERS classes the opportunity to offer miniworkshops over the next three months that will be free and open to the public. They include:
- February 23, 12:25-1:40 p.m.—a program organized by the Therapeutic Recreation Programming class taught by Melissa Hall, assistant professor of recreation studies.
- March 22, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.—an activity designed to reduce stress offered by students in the Stress Management course taught by Dr. Julia Tracy, adjunct faculty.
- April 11, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.—an adaptive obstacle course put together by students in the Adaptive Physical Education class taught by Dr. Desmond Lawless, visiting assistant professor of physical education.
Kendig said senior citizens in particular might be interested in the adaptive physical education workshop.
“We are hoping to get some seniors from the community to try some kind of adaptive physical activity, like badminton for example, and to introduce them to exercises they can do at home,” Kendig said. “That way, if it is a cold day and they do not want to drive to the Wellness Center, they will learn some things they can do at home.”
Nursing students are offering free blood pressure readings in the rotunda Monday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. and Thursday from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Seeley said the center has always offered this service by appointment to members, but having the nursing students there allows both Wellness Center members and members of the community the chance to walk in and get their blood pressure checked without an appointment.
Nursing education students Stephanie Marchun and Skyler Casto are helping. They recently spent two hours offering blood pressure screenings to anyone who stopped by their table in the rotunda. Marchun encourages everyone to take advantage of the service.
“It alerts people of the risk of other diseases because hypertension could also lead to more serious complications,” Marchun said.
Casto pointed out that working in the noisy Wellness Center rotunda offers an excellent opportunity to practice their skills.
“Doing this here will help us when we’re actually in the field and there are a million more noises behind our stethoscopes,” Casto said. “It’s really good practice, especially with those basketball players in the background.”
Seely said the wellness miniworkshops and blood pressure screening are a great addition to what the Wellness Center already offers.
“This new initiative is giving us opportunities to do things that we are not able to do on our own and to expand our offerings by partnering with people who have expertise in the field,” Seeley said. “It also gives the Wellness Center and Shepherd University academic programs the opportunity to give back to our community, and it provides a richer experience for our students.”
“The students will be able to get out of the classroom and utilize the skills that they’re learning in a practical atmosphere and apply those skills to an environment where they are working one-on-one with community members, which is what these majors are all about,” Kendig added.
Kendig said the new program is designed to highlight all aspects of wellness, including the emotional, spiritual, occupational, and psychological.
“We wanted to create a broader perception of what wellness is all about and the differences between overall wellness and physical activity,” Kendig said.
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