Dozens gathered in attendance at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMU) Hansel E. Tookes Sr. Recreational Center on March 23 to bring awareness to various health issues women face.
“The whole event in regards to women’s health, that is one of the areas that I don’t believe we pay enough attention to,” said Marisa Lewis, an associate professor and undergraduate student association co-advisor at FAMU School of Allied Health. “Women’s health should be one of those top priority topics not only from a legal perspective or a legislative perspective but from the perspective of (a) woman herself.”
The seminar opened with a health promotion fair featuring health screenings, free giveaways, and informational booths from FAMU’s health care management, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (COPPS), School of Nursing, School of Allied Health Sciences Physical Therapy, Division of Occupational Therapy, and School of Allied Health Sciences Health Informatics and Information Management.
“We all need to be more aware of our health status as well as our behavioral and lifestyle changes that we need to make in order to promote our best health,” Lewis said. “So, anything dealing with health and promoting good health and increasing knowledge and awareness is always a win-win.”
The seminar also included a “women’s health awareness session,” which focused on bringing awareness to health issues that affect women in rising numbers.
Speakers from FAMU’s COPPS and various other medical professionals formed a panel to “sound the alarm” on issues such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure and offered “sound solutions” to decrease their effects.
“We cannot make excuses,” said assistant professor and director of FAMU’s Bachelor of Science Pharmaceutical Sciences Program, Tiffany Ardley. “We have to make solutions.”
Throughout the seminar, activities such as an activewear-only fashion showcase and an interactive “fit break” were included to promote positive attitudes towards regular exercise.
“My hope is that this event serves to be a catalyst for each of you to take something that was given by this panel of great professionals, that you take something that may even change your life for the better,” FAMU First Lady Sharon Robinson said as she gave closing remarks.
The committee in charge of planning this event said there will be another like it next year with the same purpose in educating and bringing awareness to women’s health.
Dr. Lon'Tejuana S. Cooper, an associate professor and clinical coordinator at the Division of Health Informatics and Information management, said it is important to have women health at the forefront.
“Being mindful, a lot of times we play many different roles where we’re mothers, we’re teachers, we’re everything to everyone else and we need to bring back to the forefront our health and our ability to build a high-quality level of life,” Cooper said. “In order to do that we need to have this information – knowledge is power.”