650 Students Participate in Six-Day Screening During Fall 2009 Alone
Thanks to the growing number of biomedical screenings made available through “Creating Healthy, Informed Lasting Lifestyles (CHILL),” Frostburg State University students are increasingly taking charge of their personal health and getting access to the resources they need to focus more on wellness.
Originally launched in September 2008 with a contribution from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, CHILL promotes health practices and education among college students and the local community. The number of students participating in biomedical screenings—a key part of CHILL’s programming since its inception—has risen significantly over the past two years. During the 2008-09 academic year, CHILL screened 501 students, and this fall, 650 students participated during the fall semester alone. Screenings were performed by the Western Maryland Health System’s Wellness Center.
“Our students are learning the importance of living a balanced lifestyle through our screenings,” said April Baer, FSU’s project coordinator for University Wellness. “They are able to see in their results the impact that taking proper care of themselves can have. Through CHILL, each FSU student will be given the means to access critical resources to begin healthy habits here that will sustain them for a lifetime.”
Julie Miller, a registered nurse hired in spring 2009 through CHILL, has used the biomedical screening results to provide follow-up care to participating students. According to Miller, the fall 2009 screenings revealed that 36 percent of those screened had an elevated body mass index. Thirty-six percent had blood pressure readings above 120/80. Forty-eight percent had a lower than desired level of the “good cholesterol” or HDL (high-density lipoprotein).
“Clearly, there is a need for health improvement and the CHILL program at Frostburg State provides a unique opportunity to impact student health, both in the present and future,” Miller said.
Following the biomedical screenings, students are mailed their results and are invited via e-mail to follow up with a registered nurse at Brady Health Center. The students also have an opportunity to meet with a registered dietician. During the visit at Brady Health Center, the screening results are reviewed with students and they learn about lifestyle changes that can aid in improving their lipid panel and blood pressure. Body mass index and body composition are also discussed during the visit to Brady. Ongoing follow-up is provided through an additional program, Bobcats for Better Health, where the students can meet periodically with the RN.
In addition to biomedical screenings, CHILL has successfully developed and organized various educational outreach activities since 2008 that focus on health and wellness, including workshops led by nationally renowned fitness expert Scott Cole, a “Biggest Loser” student weight loss competition and campus community walks organized as part of popular University traditions like Homecoming. As a result of CHILL’s success and the University’s overall focus on health and wellness, in spring 2009 FSU was recognized as a “Fit-Friendly Company” by the American Heart Association and received a “Worksite Innovation Award” from AHA for its efforts to promote and foster an institutional culture of health and physical activity in the workplace.
“AstraZeneca’s funding is absolutely critical to our success in helping young people learn about wise and health-conscious decision-making,” said B.J. Davisson II, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FSU Foundation, Inc. “The health screenings we have been able to do have clearly validated data from a National College Health Assessment survey FSU completed in 2006 that revealed that 43 percent of our college students who participated in the survey are overweight. We believe that AstraZeneca’s support will give us the resources to provide ongoing intervention with those students most in need of making lifestyle changes."
To learn more about CHILL, visit www.frostburg.edu/chill or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about FSU, visit www.frostburg.edu.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.
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