MSU's Gunn College to host 19th Annual Community Health Fair

MSU's Gunn College to host 19th Annual Community Health Fair

Area residents of all ages can take advantage of free health screenings and educational material at the 19th Annual Community Health Fair at Midwestern State University. Hours are from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, March 8, in the Don Flatt Gym in D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Free screenings include blood pressure; height, weight, and body mass index; blood glucose; lung function; and HIV/STD testing.

Health promotion topics include healthy menu choices, exercise, food portion control, breast self-examinations/mammography, smoking/vaping cessation, and contraception. Other safety information concerning CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, fire, distracted driving, self-defense, poisons, and ER vs. urgent care issues will be available.

New this year is a spin challenge for student organizations that will give them an opportunity to win prize money. The challenge is sponsored by the Bruce and Graciela Redwine Student Wellness Center. Student organizations can register through the Mustangs Link. Campus ministries, the Counseling Center, the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District, and the Southwest Transplant Alliance will also be represented at the fair.

Although the fair is a screening session for various health conditions, it is also the result of a team effort by students at MSU's Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, and a chance to educate the public that affordable health care begins with prevention.

Betty Bowles, Associate Professor of Nursing at MSU's Wilson School of Nursing, said that since the first fair took place in 2001, it has evolved into an assignment for the senior nursing students in the community nursing class, where they learn that nursing goes beyond the clinical setting in offices or hospitals.

"The fair brings the community to the campus, and it teaches students to communicate with the public," Bowles said. "This works with our goal of moving toward prevention and getting people to work for a healthier lifestyle, rather than treatment." Social work, psychology, dental hygiene, radiologic sciences, and respiratory therapy students also are involved with screenings and exhibits on living healthy.

Additionally, students learn important lessons in goal setting, event planning and organization - they are responsible for planning and staging the fair. They learn teamwork as they develop presentations, and they gain experience in working with community organizations as they join different service groups that will be represented at the fair.

"It's a chance for everyone involved to give something back to the community, all while learning how to stay healthy," Bowles said.

Attendees may bring toiletries and non-perishable food for the Mustangs Pantry and outdated eyeglasses for the Lion's Club. They may also donate blood and register as organ donors.

For information about this year's health fair, call Bowles at 940-397-4048.