Health Fair gives students flu shots, educates people on community groups

Corryn Brock, News Editor

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Groups on and off campus came to table at the Health Fair Tuesday afternoon.

Free flu shots were made available to students at the fair by Health Services, and Health Services ran out of shots around 12:30 p.m.

The Coles County Health Department was also there to provide flu shots to faculty, staff and retired faculty and staff.

Elizabeth Hager, who works at the Illinois Secretary of State organ and tissue donor program, came to educate students on the benefits of organ donation.

“I think education is the key to the success of any good program, and if we’re going to get people to be organ donors we need to be out there. We need to be here educating the students and the faculty; that’s why I do this.”

Hager said 20 students signed up for organ donation while at the Health Fair.

“One person can help 25 people; being a donor is just important,” Hager said. “When you multiply that by each donor that can help more than 25 people, that’s a lot of lives impacted.”

Hager said organ donation is important because of the impact it can have on the families of the donor.

“I think it helps the donor’s families with closure knowing that their loved one, though something tragic happened, something good came of the tragic situation,” Hager said. “I think it’s really important because I have donor families tell me that it really helped them a lot.”

Stephanie Anderson, volunteer coordinator at Sexual Assault Counseling and Information Service, said she came to show students all that SACIS can offer them.

“We’re just here promoting all of our services because we have a wide variety of different services for students and community members,” Anderson said.“We have a variety of volunteer and intern opportunities and this is a way that we can come out and show students here that we are here to support them and we want to be engaged with them, we want them to be apart of team SACIS in whatever way that looks like for them. Whether that is them taking advantage of our services or them being involved and going through our 40 hour training and being a trained volunteer, maybe working on our 24-hour hotline or interning or even just seeing our day-to-day services.”

Hager said she hoped she educated students on the benefits and importance of organ donation while at the Health Fair.

“Today in Illinois there are approximately 4,700 people waiting (for donated organs), and many of those people will die while they’re on the waiting list, and those are needless, senseless deaths; perfectly good organs are buried every day.”

Anderson said she hoped that students learned more about all of the health organizations available to them in Coles County.

“I think it’s important that students can see all of the different agencies that are here, there are so many that are not on campus,” Anderson said.

Groups from Health Services came to educate students at the event from the counseling center, clinic and pharmacy about the services they have access to on campus.

Tables were also presented by the Health Education Resource Center.

Emma Noble, assistant director of health education and promotion at the HERC, said she felt the Health Fair was beneficial for students to attend.

“The Health Fair is great because it shows students all of the resources that are available in the community that they may not be aware of and on campus,” Noble said. “Some students maybe never step foot off of campus so it’s a great way to see what else is around in the Mattoon Charleston area.”

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].