Free flu shots and a health fair will be provided by the Health Education and Resource Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Grand Ballroom to promote a healthier community.
The health fair will include booths from university departments and health resources throughout Charleston, including a dentist office and the Sexual Assault and Counseling Information Service. There will also be a raffle, sponsored by Mi Casa Su Casa, Jimmy Johns and other businesses.
The flu shots will be free for students who bring a panther card, faculty, staff and retirees who can show proof of employment through Eastern.
The HERC has sponsored the flu shot clinic and a bigger version of the health fair before but never together, said Amanda Harvey, the interim associate director of the HERC.
Harvey said the addition of the health fair to the flu shot clinic happened because of the numerous requests the HERC received from students, faculty and community members.
“We wanted to have an opportunity for everyone to come and check out what is offered on campus and in the community,” Harvey said.
Breanna Rehor, health promotion coordinator and college student affairs graduate student, said it is important that community members, especially students, receive flu shots.
“We’re hoping that, one, students are able to get their flu shot, especially if they are living on campus,” Rehor said. “We want to make sure that if they’re living in confined places, that they’re protecting themselves against the flu.”
Another important goal of this event is to get the word out about the many different university and community services that are available for those in need Harvey said.
“We want people to have an opportunity to stop and get more information about the wonderful services that we have on campus,” she said. “Really being able to get the chance to talk to different departments on campus, to talk to different community contacts, and let people know what we have available, because there’s so many different resources that students can utilize for free.”
The HERC provides many different programs throughout the year, such as different presentations or activities related to sleep, stress, substance abuse and many other health topics that might directly affect college students.
Harvey said last year, the flu shot clinic vaccinated 650 students with hopes to increase the attendance this year with the addition of the health fair.
Rehor said she chose to work at the HERC because of how it is helping to raise awareness of health-related topics. She said she is excited to be a part of this opportunity to educate the public.
“(We’re) just trying to better our students and make sure they have the information they need to know,” Rehor said.
Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]