Health week creates awareness


Students will be lining up all  week to receive free HIV tests and flu shots in the Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center for National Health Education Week.  

The event is held during the third week of October, orchestrated by the School of Allied Health. The event focuses on the national attention of public health issues and increasing understanding of the role of health education. 

Gregory Gardener, 23, a third-year psychology student from Tampa, attended the event Monday for HIV testing. 

“I think this should be a yearlong event,” Gardener said. “Students need to be more cognitive of their health and where they stand.”

Gardener attended the event in hopes of learning something new and gaining a new perspective on life.

Dr. Maria Okeke, a professor of health science, said this event showcases the students’ work and reinforces the information they have learned in the classroom.

Weeklong events are planned to accommodate students’ needs. This year, the events are partnered with Student Health Services, Counseling Services, Bond Community Health Center, Big Bend Cares and The Fountain of Hope Inc.  

Today, Yero Smith will have a cardio and dance aerobics exercise at 8 a.m. Bond Community Health Center will test for HIV, blood glucose, blood pressure, weight and health education from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, cancer survivor Shondia McFadden-Sabari will have a breast cancer seminar from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the banquet room (room 408). This event is called “Bold and Breastless.” 

A depression and substance abuse screening will be conducted Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

This is an evaluation where students are encouraged to fill out forms and see what their results are. Sunshine Manor, the FAMU Counseling Center, will confidentially assess the students’ results.

“Students are encouraged to come out and be screened to see if they are at risk or prone to depression or have substance abuse traits,” Okeke said. “I expect no less than 300 students to come out and participate.”

Angela Mattews, 21, a third-year criminal justice student from Philadelphia, waited for her body composition test. 

“I don’t get the chance to always check my Body Mass Index and how much fat my body is composed of,” Mattews said.

Monday, HIV testing was conducted. Tuesday, HIV, flu shots and body composition was done. 

For any questions about the services being offered, contact Okeke at 850-561-2773