Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, the IUP Department of Health and Physical Education, and St. Thomas More University Parish will present the fifth annual health fair on April 18.
The fair is planned from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Thomas More University Parish, 1200 Oakland Ave.
Events begin with a step into spring walk along the Hoodlebug Trail. Registrants of all ages can choose a mile-and-a-half or three-mile walk and stop at fitness challenges along the way. Registration will be from 8:30 to 8:45 a.m. in the parking lot of St. Thomas More University Parish. The first fifty registrants will receive a free T-shirt.
Participants will be escorted to the Hoodlebug Trail and guided in stretching exercises by IUP Health and Physical Education students. Water stations will be set up along the trail. At the conclusion of the walk, participants will be escorted back to St. Thomas More University Parish parking lot.
All who complete the walk and return to the registration table will be eligible for one of three prize drawings. Adults will have a chance to win a three-month membership to the James Mill Fitness Center, located in Zink Hall on the IUP campus; the winner of the children’s drawing can choose either a $250 partial scholarship to the IUP Footlight Players or a full scholarship to the IUP Summer Kids Activity Camp; and one IUP student will receive a $100 gift certificate to the IUP Co-op Store provided by the parish.
“This event has become a tradition in our parish and is a wonderful sign of the collaboration that can occur between IUP and others in the greater Indiana community. Not only does it show that we can work together, but it shows that we are all truly committed to the health and well-being of the total person—body, mind, and spirit,” St. Thomas More pastor the Rev. William Lechnar said.
“The annual health fair and step into spring walk creates a bond in the community centering around the concern we share for those around us. We are proud to be a part of this event and encourage IUP students, residents of the community, and those, who in particular have health concerns, to come and be a part of this year’s activities.
“We thank parishioners of St. Thomas More University Parish, the faculty, staff, and students of IUP who have helped in any way with this endeavor, members of the health care and business communities who have made generous contributions, and especially the United Way of Indiana County for being so supportive and seeing the value of providing health awareness and education to the community at large.”
Highlights of the day’s health fair, which will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the parish hall, include:
• Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) screening, bone density screening, and “Diabetes in Real Life” program, conducted by nurses from Indiana Regional Medical Center
• Body mass index and blood pressure screenings, provided by Dr. Theresa Gropelli, PhD, RN and IUP nursing students
• A cooking class, “Appetizers and Desserts with a Healthy Flair,” presented by students in the community nutrition course, under the supervision of IUP professor Dr. Rita Johnson. This thirty-minute class will be offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• “Yoga for Stress Reduction,” a forty-five-minute introduction to yoga offered at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. by Sunflower Yoga Studio
• Massage therapy, directed by Claudia Ager, RN, CMT, from 10 to 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
• Back strengthening exercises with Dr. Chris Sharbaugh at 10:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
The United Way of Indiana County and the Zeta Lambda Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Nursing Honor Society, are providing copies of Healthwise for Life: A Self-Care Guide for People Age 50 and Better and Healthwise Handbook: A Self-Care Guide for You and Your Family. One free copy will be given to the first sixty families who request the book.
The United Way of Indiana County has also provided funding copies of “Five Wishes” and “Next Steps.” “Five Wishes” is an easy-to-read legal document that lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. A hospice representative will be on hand to discuss both of these resources.
In all, there will be more than twenty-four booths on a variety of health topics. Representatives from several community agencies will join IUP undergraduate nursing students to present information on various topics for adults, including the latest information on adult immunizations, the meaning of screening tests and when they are appropriate, information on the signs and symptoms of a stroke, and lifestyle changes that lower the risk for stroke.
Nutrition students will discuss the menus of some local restaurants, salt lowering strategies, and brain healthy foods. Participants will be encouraged to experience a Wii Fit exercise challenge.
Activities for children include information about the body, germs, and nutrition. Crafts and face painting will be offered by the Catholic Student Association.
Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided. Prizes, including tickets to an Altoona Curves baseball game, gift certificates to local restaurants, and prizes for the children, will be given away throughout the day. The grand prize to be offered during the day is a Schwinn bicycle.
Parking is free in the IUP parking garage and church parking lot.
The IUP Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions is located in Johnson Hall. The department offers a bachelor’s degree in nursing and currently has 520 undergraduate nursing majors. The nursing program also offers a master’s degree in nursing in the areas of administration and education and a doctoral degree.
There are twenty-one graduate students on the Indiana campus, fifteen students at IUP at Monroeville, ten students at IUP at Northpointe, and twelve students at Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown. A total of eighteen students are currently enrolled in the first cohort of the Ph.D. program in Nursing.
The department also includes 239 undergraduate Allied Health majors in the areas of Respiratory Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, and Clinical Laboratory Sciences.