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Louisiana College students learn important things at health fair
Lessons on improving lives and saving them
PINEVILLE – Nearly all people place a priority on having good health. The students of Louisiana College recently were reminded of that priority in a big way.
Louisiana College held its second annual health fair on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 in the Granberry Conference Center of the Hixson Student Center.
The fair was divided into two main sections. The main activities in Granberry, including a blood drive by LifeShare Blood Centers. Across the hall, in the formal lounge, the Red Cross of Central Louisiana conductedhalf-hour hands-only CPR training sessions. In all, students had the opportunity to earn as many as three cultural credits.
The activities students could take part in included getting their blood pressure taken, checking out the insides of their ears, playing a Wii game that required them to use their balance to guide multiple balls into holes, and other things. Students could visit 25 booths in Granberry hosted by health representatives such as the American Red Cross, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Cenla Chiropractic, and others. Visiting 18 of the 25 booths allowed students to receive a cultural credit.
Students could earn a third cultural credit by participating in and completing the CPR training program. Additionally, students could win door prizes that included items from providers such as Harlow’s Bakery, Domino’s Pizza, and PoBoy Express.
It was a festive and entertaining atmosphere at the fair, with students learning health facts they never knew before, sharing in camaraderie with one another, and experiencing a general inspiration to help others by donating blood.
LC Director of Health Services Carla Martin, who helped coordinate the health fair, discussed how the health fair first started and what its main goals were.
“The health fair was something I was interested in putting together since I was first employed here in 2006,” Martin said. “The purpose of it is to connect our students, staff, and faculty with some of the local vendors in our area and provide them preventative health care information. We had over 250 students last year, and we’re hoping to beat that this year.
“In addition, we want to be able to identify if any of our students have blood pressure or blood sugar problems,” Martin continued. “That way, we can follow up with them to make sure they receive proper treatment.”
Martin said she thought the fair was proceeding very successfully.
“I see lots of excited people and also see that the vendors are excited to be here,” Martin said. “The students seem to be really interested in what we’ve got going on.”
A few LC students expressed their pleasure with the fair.
“I thought it was very helpful and eye-opening—it got some things out that students might not have known,” said Tamera Branham. “It was pretty interesting overall.”
Branham’s fellow student and boyfriend Cody Miguez said the fair motivated him to give some blood for the purpose of saving a life.
“It also motivated me to possibly take a CPR class so that I can save a life one day,” Miguez added.
Student Coy Raiford classified his experience at the fair as “great.
“I’ve learned today that chiropractors can take care of your allergies, so I’ve set up an appointment with the chiropractor and Alexandria Eye Center,” Raiford said. “I’m also going to give some blood.”
Registered nurse Lisa Hickman of Lifeshare Blood Centers spoke on how the fair’s blood drive was used to honor LC President Dr. Joe Aguillard, who recently suffered a heart attack.
“Dr. Aguillard’s going to be having heart surgery next week, and heart surgery’s a type of surgery that uses blood,” Hickman said. “People can donate today to make sure there is an adequate blood supply next week when Dr. Joe has surgery.”
Leann Murphy, the chief executive officer of the Central Louisiana Red Cross, gave some information about the hands-only CPR training.
“The training is about teaching bystanders how to save a life following sudden cardiac arrest when a person loses consciousness and their heart stops beating,” Murphy said. “If they’re over the age of 12, they’re probably suffering a cardiac arrest, so we’re teaching people how to check the scene and the person, call 911, and give compressions non-stop until an AED or advanced medical care arrives on the scene.
“The goal is to increase the meaningful survival rate of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest,” Murphy continued. “In a year we’ve been able to double it, so our goal is to double that again in another year. We’ve had 97 people attend the fair so far today, and we feel that more will come in later.”
In fact, the final number of those who took the hands-only training was 109.
Martin said that she wanted to continue the health fair tradition on an annual basis for the future.
“I would like to see it continue to grow,” Martin said.
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