January 31, 2003

Campus Health Event Largest in C.U. History

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After a one-year organizational break, the 22nd annual student-run Health Awareness Week (HAW) resumed this year with campuswide events featuring over 15 programs and a variety of health-related activities.

This year’s HAW, under the new direction of Cornell Fitness Centers (CFC), was the “most comprehensive and diverse” program in the event’s history, bringing together groups from all over campus for the purpose of “encouraging healthy living in the University setting,” according to Barry Le Vine ’04, CFC outreach coordinator and director of HAW.

In the past, the HAW’s program was limited to sexual health awareness, which Le Vine said he felt was too narrow in scope.

“The importance of HAW is that better-educated individuals will hopefully be able to make more informed decisions about their own health care,” said Bert Adams, fitness coordinator for CFC.

“It empowers the individual and allows them to be responsible for themselves,” she added.

With the goal of reaching as many students as possible, Le Vine put together a diverse program to give students and community members the resources for building healthy lifestyles.

“Whatever your interests may be, this program has something for you,” Le Vine said.

Over the course of this past week, HAW featured a variety of events that covered nine different health areas, including exercise, nutrition, wellness and fitness as well as public, occupational, mental and sexual health.

Starting off the week’s events, the Health Fair brought over 2,000 people to the Memorial Room of the Straight with demonstrations, health screenings and over 50 information booths from various campus and community health and wellness services.

“This year’s health fair took place over two days, Monday and Wednesday, instead of just one, offering more opportunities for both students and service groups to get together,” Adams said.

“We hope that students are left with a better sense of health awareness and understanding of healthy lifestyles because health is something crucial for everyone, not just people who are nutritionists or premeds,” said Melissa Wei ’04, co-president of the Student Health Alliance at Cornell (SHAC), which sponsored the Health Fair.

The First Annual HAW Activities Night, held on Monday, featured a lecture on body image by international supermodel Magali Amadei at Uris Auditorium. The activities also included a demonstration on cooking healthy dinners, a stress management and yoga workshop, and a fitness class demonstration.

Claire Mysko, administrative director of the American Anorexia Bulimia Association, also spoke Monday with Amadei, discussing her advocacy work with the media and the fashion industry.

On Wednesday, Prof. Robert Hsiung, clinical psychiatry, University of Chicago, presented a lecture titled “The Internet: Friend or Foe of Student Mental Health?” in the Biotech Building about health-related resources on the Internet.

Hsiung discussed “whether [the Internet] can act as a substitute for real medical treatment,” Le Vine said.

The presentation included a videoconferencing demonstration to show the clinical potential of the Internet and was followed by a reception.

“It has been enjoyable to see so many people taking advantage of the scheduled events up to now,” Adams said.

Last night, Henry Heimlich med ’43, president of the Heimlich Institute and inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver, gave a keynote address in Call Auditorium titled “Correcting Medical Mistakes that Cause Needless Deaths.”

Referring to Heimlich, Le Vine said, “People only know him as a name, and I wanted students to know him as a person.”

Le Vine coordinated the funding and support for the event with the assistance of over 135 student and faculty volunteers and over 34 campus, local and national sponsors to expand this year’s program.

HAW concludes today with a fundraiser show at Bailey Hall featuring select a capella groups and dance ensembles for the benefit of the Ithaca Youth Bureau. A free dance will be held after the benefit concert at Trillium.

Archived article by Janet Liao