Contact: Allison Benner, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790



Allentown School District Students to Attend Workshops on Thursday

Allentown, PA (April 25, 2006) – With the rising concerns of childhood obesity and the epidemic proportions of diabetes gripping the health headlines, American communities, now more than ever, are being called to encourage people at every age to take charge of their health. In continuation of its commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles, The Health Connection at Cedar Crest College will hold its 3rd Annual Conference on Health and Wellness from April 26 – 27, 2006 for the campus and community (see also release sent on April 11, 2006).

This year a group of high school students from The Academy of Health Sciences of Allentown School District will attend the conference as a complement to their own coursework. "We think it's a great opportunity for students who have already identified the health sciences as a career path to see examples of what they could be exploring at the college level and also to learn more about their personal wellness," says Weaver. The students will attend workshops and presentations during Thursday's schedule of events.

With its theme of "Mind, Body, Spirit Integration: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives," the conference will feature student and faculty research presentations with such diverse topics as job stress, irritable bowel syndrome, trans fats and cardiovascular disease, the effects of eating breakfast, the role of dietary fiber in colorectal cancer prevention, the benefits and risks of creatine supplements, the safety of acetaminophen and post traumatic stress disorder in first responders.

Cedar Crest and The Health Connection also go under the microscope as the College explores how both have progressed in the last three years. Joan Laffey, dean of student affairs, will give a special presentation, "Are We There Yet: Progress of The Health Connection," on Thursday and results of the Longitudinal Health Study, a survey given to students to gauge their participation and feelings about their health, will be available. Preliminary data shows there has been a steady increase in the percentage of students who regularly eat a balanced diet and exercise. Also, nearly 30 percent of students surveyed believe that the Cedar Crest College community itself is a factor that contributes positively to their health.

Besides research, the conference schedule is packed with informative and interactive workshops, performances, and health screenings that address all the components of overall wellness, including creativity and spirituality. Activities will include dance and yoga, body fat analysis and blood pressure screening, spa cuisine and a workshop about hand washing, and much more. New to the conference this year are glucose and cholesterol screenings donated by Health Network Laboratories.

"A person can be physically fit, but at the same time be emotionally unhealthy. A balance of the health of mind, body and spirit is necessary to achieve total wellness," says Suzanne Weaver, professor of social work and co-chair of the conference. "This conference is unique because it offers participants the chance to learn about and explore each of those elements."

The 2005-2006 academic year was a successful one for The Health Connection both on campus and on a national level. Participants in Healthy U, the most popular program component focused on exercise and healthy eating, lost a combined 122 pounds in one month alone, and a number of activities, like the Iron Woman Indoor Triathlon, had record participation. Fox News Channel shot an in-depth segment about The Health Connection, highlighting the need for a greater focus on the health of America's college students at a time when binge drinking and the "Freshman 15" continue to plague campuses. Additionally, faculty and staff Health Connection resources were the featured experts in major publications like Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's World and Fitness.

In March, The Health Connection was selected as the Gold Award winner in the category of Student Health, Wellness and Counseling by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). NASPA chose Cedar Crest's program from a national pool of program entries that included Silver Award winner New York University and Bronze Award winner Syracuse University. The award, given in recognition of the efforts that college campuses are making to encourage healthier lifestyle choices, was part of the annual NASPA Excellence Awards.

The Health Connection at Cedar Crest College is a multi-pronged program dedicated to promoting the health of mind, body and spirit through education, experience and research. The goal of the program is to implement and evaluate interventions that are intended to transform our campus into a healthy community that will, in time, inspire other colleges and universities to reach for similar goals.

The 3rd Annual Conference on Health & Wellness will take place on Wednesday, April 26 from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Thursday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Cedar Crest College and is free and open to the public. A complete conference schedule of events is available online at www.cedarcrest.edu. For more information please contact the Special Events Hotline at 610-740-3791.


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