Faculty, staff test wellness at health fair

Dr. Gwendoyln Murdock looks away while she is tested at the faculty and staff health fair this week. The student health fair is held during fall semesters.

Amber Englebert

Dr. Gwendoyln Murdock looks away while she is tested at the faculty and staff health fair this week. The student health fair is held during fall semesters.

Amber Englebert

Faculty and staff of Missouri Southern had a chance to review their health this week.

Wednesday and Thursday the faculty and staff health fair, which featured free blood tests, booths with information about health and a masseuse was held in Billingsly Student Center.

“This is the campus recreational wellness program’s attempt to try to help the campus be healthier and live healthier lives, and get them involved in some of the health and wellness activities,” said Darren Fullerton, director of campus recreation and wellness. “It was started as a benefit for the faculty and staff. A lot of people don’t take the time out of their busy schedules to go to their private physician. You don’t have to leave campus, go downtown, and schedule an appointment. It’s right here on campus. Everything from the blood-work to blood pressure, bone density, vision screening. It’s quick; it takes twenty minutes to come over and do all of this.

“They can come in and we have a variety of blood tests they can have, and four or five of those are free of charge. Then if they need advanced lab-work, they can get that at cost. So it’s a lot cheaper than going to the regular physician.”

Members of the faculty and staff appreciate the service that is provided by the wellness program.

“I wish they did this at every school,” said Tatiana Karmanova, associate professor of Russian and Spanish. “I come up every year to see how I’m doing, what health I am in. Then I take the results to my doctor, and we adjust whatever is needed. It helps to find out whatever problems you might have ahead of time, instead of waiting until they are full-blown and you can feel them.”

Dean of Students Doug Carnahan is also a supporter of the fair.

“It’s a great program for the staff and faculty to find out what their fitness is and what their health status is,” he said. “It’s a great service for the employees of the university. It’s always better to prevent problems than to react to them once they occur. The wellness programs have grown a lot in the past years, for faculty and staff as well as for students. And I think it is a trend that will continue.”

Fullerton stressed while this health fair was for faculty and staff, there is a health fair in the fall for students.

“Many of our students especially don’t have a private physician” he said. “We try to set something up where we do a two-day for the faculty in spring and a one-day in fall for the students to come over and have access to a variety of the tests. The first time we had the student health fair, they were a little leery about having their blood drawn. This year, over 8 percent of or students came in and had blood drawn.”

“We just want to emphasize to everybody that it is accessible. We have the health center on campus; they can use the wellness program. If you can prevent something, it is a lot better than trying to treat something.”