Eta Sigma Gamma prepares for Health Week

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

Eta Sigma Gamma will be helping students recognize healthy choices and lifestyles during the National Public Health week from April 4-5 in the Bridge Lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Amy Scarbrough, the president of Eastern’s chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, an organization devoted to the promotion of Health Education, said Health Week is a way to help students realize more of what the organization does other than just taking care of people.

“(They can) look at the background of health and learn how to help each other,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough said it is also a way for students to recognize healthy choices for a healthy life style.

“This is very important and not many people know about Eta Sigma Gamma or the different weeks because in the fall we do the national health education week, and in the spring we do the national public health week,” Scarbrough said. “So I feel like getting it out there will help people pay more attention to it and want to find out about their health.”

Thaddeus Harlan, a junior health studies major, said public health specialists and advocates across the nation are involved with the American public health association.

Harlan said the organization will work to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the nation.

“Americans are living 20 years longer than their grandparents’ generation thanks to the work of public health,” Harlan said. “But, people from other high income countries live longer and suffer fewer health issues than we do.”

Harlan said the organization will try to help students improve their own health and get an aspect of it as well as reflect on it and change some bad habits.

Job Runge, a freshman health studies major, said in a college atmosphere health can appear to be an issue and is not just about eating healthy.

Contrary to typical belief, Harlan said other sectors fall under health that students may not be aware of.

Other than physical health, this includes cognitive, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social health.

Runge said many students when they first arrive to campus can be nervous and might just stay in their rooms and eat a lot of snacks. They need to get out and make sure they are getting a healthy diet.

These are just some of the hot topics that will be discussed during Health Week.

Throughout the week students can visit several tables set up in the Bridge Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Scarbrough said.

“There will be poster boards set up and there will be some games like trivia question games and matching games in order for students to have an interactive learning experience with the organizations there,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough said there will be people from the HERC helping alongside Eta Sigma Gamma and they are trying to reach out to the Coles County Health Department as well.

Each day follows a different theme, according to the itinerary for the week.

“On Monday, April 4 we have all young people graduate from high school; Tuesday April 5 is everyone’s healthy food choices; Wednesday is build a nation of safe and healthy communities; Thursday is provide quality health care for everyone and Friday is preparing for the health affects of climate change,” Runge said.

Although only a freshman, Runge said he learned more than he could have ever imagined being in his third health studies class this year.

“I’m a very social person and I shadowed a couple of different job careers and I shadowed a health care administrator at a nursing home and I really liked just being with all the people,” Runge said.

Harlan also said he wanted to dedicate his career to health administration after switching over from a major in nursing.

“I decided I wanted to run the show instead of just working directly with the patient,” Harlan said.

Scarbough said people also should know how to care for individuals; for example, during an emergency they need to know who to contact that could do the job, and that is what Health Week will teach.

“Even if they are students we can step up and save a life,” Scarbough said.

Scarbough said students will get to know the different classes and resources offered on campus that are aimed at helping students with their health including Eastern’s very own nutrition specialist and CPR or Disaster Classes.

The goal of Health Week, Harlan and Runge said is informing and educating students about all aspects of their health and getting more healthy habits out of students.

As for potential health studies majors or minors interested in joining Eta Sigma Gamma, they have meetings twice a month at 6 p.m. Thursday in Lantz 1620.

Incoming members would have to pay a fee of $10 a semester and $15 a year.

“It’s totally worth it,” Harlan said.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]