Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BU’s Annual Health Sciences Symposium and Wellness Fair: Paths to a Healthy Life

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. --- Mahatma Gandhi 

On Thursday April 20th Bloomsburg University co-sponsored its Annual Health Sciences Symposium, and on the following day held its yearly Wellness Fair. A treasure trove of valuable and sometimes life-saving information, these two events offered updates on the latest medical research on diabetes and diabetes-related conditions, mindful physical exercising and eating, blood sugar and blood pressure management, and other medical and health care topics of interest to BU students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the Bloomsburg community.

Now in its 26th year, BU’s Health Sciences Symposium, which was co-sponsored by the University’s Office of the Provost and the Berwick Health and Wellness Fund, focused upon the theme of diabetes, which featured a keynote address on Thursday by Dr. John W. Kennedy entitled “Diabetes Care ~ Transformation at Geisinger: Bridging the Gap Between Discovery and Delivery to Preserve Patient Health and Wellness.” Dr. Kennedy is currently in residence as the Director of the Department of Endocrinology for the Geisinger Health System, and has many years of experience as a member of the medical profession.

As part of the Symposium on the following day, there were additional presentations on diabetes and related topics in Kehr Union by a variety of health care professionals, including Pamela Cook and Devon Manney, Assistant Professors in BU’s Department of Nursing; Dr. Timothy R. O’Connell, BU Professor Emeritus in the Department of Exercise Science; and Julia Grocki, Clinical Dietician in the Geisinger Health System.

Kehr Union was also the location for BU’s 31st Annual Wellness Fair was also held on Friday. This year’s fair included informative poster sessions presented and displayed by BU graduate and undergraduate students, which spotlighted a variety of topics such as scoliosis, coronary heart disease, sodium intake, delayed umbilical cord cutting, and mononucleosis.  The Fair itself included numerous university organizations such as the Center for Hearing and Balance, the Student Health Center, the Exercise Science Club, the Wellness Committee, and the Center for Counseling and Human Development. Other contributors included ARAMARK, Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Highmark Blue Shield, PA Department of Health, and Rodman Natural Health Solutions.

If, as Gandhi suggests, health is what makes us wealthy, then nowhere was that proclamation more in evidence than on the Bloomsburg University campus on April 20th and 21st. By learning about the importance of good health and wellness through participating in events like these, and by using knowledge and good sense to create a healthy lifestyle, we have the potential to lead long and fruitful lives. What could be better than that?                 --- Michael Stephans


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