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Feb. 2, 2015

Eighth Annual Wellfest focuses on reaching students

By Ashli Speed

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Students and faculty filled the Student Center Thursday, Jan. 22 to attend Cleveland State University’s eighth annual Wellfest.

What started as a small, informative event in the recreation center has grown to an event worthy of the Student Center Ballroom with over 400 people in attendance last year.

With the help of local sponsors, campus recreation services brings a number of vendors and medical professionals to campus every year.

“This year we really put more of an effort into targeting students,” Matt Schmidel, marketing coordinator of campus recreation services, said. “Health and wellness should start at a younger age.”
Different from any other year, this year’s Wellfest featured University Hospitals (UH) as its presenting sponsor. An alumni of Cleveland State and now sports dietitian for University Hospitals, Amy Jamieson-Petonic was just one UH health care professional happy to be at Wellfest.

“I think it’s great,” Jamieson-Petonic said. “It’s wonderful we have the opportunity to connect with students and faculty to help them be healthier.”
There were prizes ranging from Beats headphones and book store gift cards, donated by Cleveland State’s bookstore, to a bike donated by Century Cycle.

Attendees of Wellfest were able to enjoy many services for no charge. With over 20 vendors, the event offered health screenings that included glucose and blood pressure checks along with testing for bone density, body mass index and HIV/STI.
People were also able to enjoy massages while others sampled a potential new menu item from dining services.

“This is a great opportunity for students and faculty to come together and get a lot of information and see what’s out there in all areas of health and wellness; financial, emotional, physical and nutritional,” Melissa Albers, fitness and wellness coordinator said.

A first time Wellfest attendee, Akeem Whittaker enjoyed the free health screenings. He was drawn by the chiropractic table and received a free spine screening.

“I heard it was here so I just came over,” Whittaker, senior Public Relations major, said. “I’m glad I did.”
John Dimmick administered health screenings at the event. Unlike others, he was able to see both perspectives of the event.

“It’s fun, screenings and awareness are important,” Dimmick said. “Educating students about looking for strokes and high blood pressure is important; they can carry that information to their families and others.”
Dimmick attended Wellfest as a Cleveland State student and is now a student pharmacist graduating in May.

“When I was an undergraduate student I was more interested in the free things,” he said. “Now, as a future health care professional, I would encourage more students to be involved in their health.”