Health expo provides students with information for local healthcare

Health expo provides students with information for local healthcare
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month, the University of Alabama chapter of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) hosted the 2017 West Alabama Women’s Healthcare Expo. Aimed at promoting self-care and resources for women, booths lined the Ferguson Center to inform attendees about the services they offered. From beauty and skin care, to health and safety clinics, the representatives from each group made it a point to emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. 

Trying to balance social life, school work and employment responsibilities often cause students to sacrifice self-care, and in conjunction, their health. Losing sleep over assignments or skipping meals to study for other classes can take a toll on student health, leading to a higher risk for illness and other health issues. One of the key objectives of this event was to give students, regardless of gender, access to health resources including radiology.

“We are trying to get young people to prioritize their health,” said Rebecca Denson, senior biology major and President of HOSA. “This event is done in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month because breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, so men and women were both invited to the event.”

Due to conflicts with the University, the free health screenings promoted for the event were unavailable to the students. However, attendees were given the information for local health clinics regarding radiology, general health and cosmetic treatments. 

Different businesses came together to promote healthy lifestyles that appealed to all people. Beauticians from the Lancome and Clinique counters from Belk spoke with students about skin care regiments and the importance of routine to ensure healthy skin. OrangeTheory Fitness offered a free class to encourage students to stay fit.

Salisia Valentine, director of nurse practitioners and physician's assistant for American Family Care, emphasized the importance of eating well and taking care of personal health in the midst of flu season.

“In one of our facilities, it was reported that they already had 90 students out of school with the flu,” Valentine said. “If you feel sick or are running a temperature, go get seen, because there is a time limit to get antivirals.”

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