Bakersfield campus holds Go Red for Women event
Over 250 students got to take their educational experience a little more personally when SJVC’s Bakersfield campus held a Go Red resource fair to provide information about women’s heart and health issues. The event, held on Feb. 7th from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM provided a dozen booths that offered tips on healthy eating, staying fit and other ways to prevent the number one killer among women – heart disease.
Judy Snyder, Allied Health Coordinator for the Bakersfield campus, saw the benefit of providing students, staff and faculty with an opportunity to learn more about this important women’s health issue and so spearheaded this event to promote awareness. “Planning gathered momentum quickly because so many of us, students and staff, have powerful personal stories of heart disease and its effect in our own families,” she says. “I promoted the idea because we train many students to save lives using BLS CPR, ACLS and PALS and I thought it was time to focus on healthy habits, restoration of good health, and breaking the familial cycles of heart disease.”
“Our medical program students, especially, are used to studying about providing care for others, but this event gave them the chance to focus their attention on themselves and identify any health risks they might need to address,” added Melissa Gonzales, Dean of Student Services.
A mobile clinic provided a screening that included height, weight, vitals and a cholesterol screening was particularly popular among students, staff and faculty. “A lot of our students had noted in their comment section that they were concerned about being overweight, and they were given lots of information about how to make healthier lifestyle and food choices,” says Gonzales. Obesity is a growing health threat nationwide.
“It was fun and exciting to promote student health,” says Career Services Manager, Chelsea. “They were really engaged and it gave us the chance to connect with our students on a different level.”
Heart disease affects more women than men, is deadlier than all forms of cancer combined and is the cause of death for 1 in 3 women. It affects women of all ages. For younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent. And while the risks do increase with age, things like overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can cause plaque to accumulate and lead to clogged arteries later in life.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Uncomfortable squeezing, pressure, fullness or pain in the center of your chest
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
“I think it is something, as young people, we need to be aware of because my father passed away of a heart attack at 31, so it doesn’t matter how young you are,” says Amber Shaw, HCIS student.
“The goal of our health resource fair was to take health conditions to the next level of understanding and provide information for follow-up care,” says Gonzales.
A dress-down day also allowed students to raise money to donate to the American Heart Association.
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