WVU Pharmacy students host health fair for local youth

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It's clear that American children aren't participating in the same healthy activities in their everyday lives as they used to. Playing video games and munching fast food have taken over riding bikes and eating healthy food. To help kids learn to make healthier choices, second-year students at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy hope to educate members of Big Brothers Big Sisters on how being active and healthy can also be fun.

The WVU student pharmacists will be hosting a kid’s health fair at the WVU Student Recreation Center on Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. The “Be Active, Eat Right, Have Fun!” event will offer information on topics promoting different aspects of healthy living, such as tobacco awareness and nutrition. Children will also have the opportunity to participate in physical fitness activities such as climbing the rock wall and playing Wii fitness games.

“Being in a healthcare field, we understand how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle,” second-year student pharmacist Mary Ann Kuykendall said. “We hope this event will teach the kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters how important, yet fun, it is to be and get healthy.”

The student pharmacists chose this activity to focus on several specific objectives of the Healthy People 2020 initiative: tobacco, fitness and nutrition.

“Our goal is to provide the members of Big Brothers Big Sisters with the tools they need to make better, healthier choices,” Kuykendall said.

All Big Brothers Big Sisters participants will receive educational handouts to remind them of what they learned at the health fair and goody bags that contain healthy snacks, fitness toys and T-shirts made for the event that were generously donated by Gabriel Brothers.

The student pharmacists were partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement as part of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) courses. The students received funding for the activity through the Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition and UnitedHealth HEROES Youth Service of America grants.

For more information about the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop.

For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192
mak/an: 01-31-11