Students, faculty, and community members gathered in the Competition Gym Feb. 16, to learn about a variety of health and wellness programs and opportunities at the university’s first Wellness Expo. The event’s main focus was to spread awareness about cancer and other health conditions, and was sponsored by the Rosen Cancer Awareness Fund.
The Rosen Cancer Awareness Fund was created by alumni Gregg ’86 and Pamela Rosen ’87 and their children Kaitlyn, Zachary, and Melanie to raise awareness about cancer prevention and detection, and to provide health education programming on campus. The fund has helped bring to Worcester State a Cancer Research Summer Program for student-faculty collaboration, financial assistance for students who have received a cancer diagnosis or have a family member with cancer, and a Wellness Center internship to implement cancer awareness programs.
One table at the event was ResilientU, a new resource for students provided by the Counseling Center. “We are here trying to promote mental health here on campus and inform students about how to access this free resource,” said junior nursing major Leah Veloz. ResilientU provides a free 24/7 emotional health hotline, access to off-campus clinicians, a Headspace subscription, Togetherall and SilverCloud access.
Junior business major Michael Erhagabai really liked the Heartwell Institute’s table. “I liked that the table has tangerines and the topic they are talking about is really important to me and this world, hearth health,” said Erhagabai.
Multicultural Wellness Center, a behavioral health clinic located in Worcester’s Vernon Medical Center and founded by alumna Debra Maddox ‘82 also participated in the Wellness Expo. The center offers mental health services and substance abuse services, and its goal is to provide a safe space and voice to those populations that continue to be underserved and underrepresented. “A lot of employees and students came to the table and were asking about internship opportunities,” said Lisa Maddox ‘94.
Senior communications major Jailyn Bratica was at the event getting content on the Wellness Expo for the Wellness Center’s social media pages. “I like all the variety of booths, everything is different,” said Bratica.
Worcester States Latino Education Institute (LEI) table discussed their Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program. The REACH program began in 2020 around the start of the pandemic, and is a multilingual team of students and faculty. “We have helped provide PPE and educational resources about health to the Latino/a/Latinx community throughout Worcester and the surrounding towns,” said LEI student Claudia Oliveira De Paiva. One of the main goals of the REACH program has been to inform people about COVID-19 and the FLU to help stop the spread of both.
A community member Courtney Schremser visited the Expo where her friend was an exhibitor for the Better Path to Wellness. “There are tables here that surprised me. One table is displaying foods for people that have common allergies,” said Schremser. “They have options that I will look into for my son who has allergies.”
Beyond the Classroom
Empty Bowls fundraiser Feb. 22 addresses food insecurity
You can take a bite out of student hunger by visiting the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser Feb. 22 in the exhibit area of the Student Center. The event includes a soup lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., . . .