By Zila Sancez, Register Contributor
If you walked past the campus health center recently, you may have noticed the “Go Red” banner outside. On Friday Feb. 10, it was crowded with people sporting the color of the month to bring heart health awareness to A&T. To help bring the event come to life, the health center partnered with many vendors and university outlets like the Guilford County Department of Health, School of Nursing, Red Cross Club, registered dieticians, and Sodexo.
Doctor David Wagner, who is the director, addressed the audience and spoke about heart disease and how it really affects our community,” said medical and health program director Brandy Jackson, who coordinated the event.
“Every year various people – especially women – die from heart disease.”
Along with informative flyers and pamphlets, the health center offered a Zumba class, stress management messages to help lower blood pressure, heart-healthy food and healthy, dorm-friendly recipes. The massages seemed to be a big hit.
“I think [Aggies for the Heart] is important for the campus because there’s a stigma that if you come to the health center, you’re some kind of STD-walking monster,” freshman Jessica Smith said, a volunteer for the Red Cross Club. “That’s not true. You need to come to the health center to get checked up… People need to be informed on how to improve their eating habits and health.”
However, coordinators have taken the step in promoting healthy practices and heart health awareness beyond the confines of the campus health center itself.
“One thing that we started this year is that we tried to recognize the entire month [of February] as heart health month,” Jackson said. “We asked that the clock tower was lit red, so they agreed to that. We have tables set up in the cafeteria on Tuesdays and Thursdays to do blood pressure, blood sugar and BMI screenings.”
As heart health month continues, the health center will host exercise and health tip event on Feb. 17 at the health center. In the years to come, Jackson hopes to secure cholesterol screenings at the Aggies for the Heart events to better serve and inform students. Nevertheless, everyone seems to be satisfied with the turn out this year.
“I think everyone enjoyed themselves,” Smith said. “I’ve seen nothing but smiles all day.”
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