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ASWSUV event designed to help students get healthy and stay healthy

First-ever ‘Health Week’ takes place Oct. 22 – 25 in Firstenburg Student Commons.

Firstenburg Student Commons is about more than just pizza and pool this week.

From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 22 – 25, flu shots, blood tests and other health services and information will be available in FSC as part of “Health Week,” an ASWSUV-sponsored event designed to connect students with low- and no-cost medical, dental and counseling services.

“It’s hard for students to focus on school when they don’t feel well or they have a toothache,” said event organizer Ian McNa, ASWSUV senator, chairman of external affairs and a junior majoring finance. “Many WSU Vancouver students lack medical and dental insurance,” he said.

McNa said 20 percent of the 2,998 students enrolled at WSU Vancouver this fall were living at or below the poverty line.

“And that figure doesn’t even include students under the age of 25 who live on their own,” McNa said.

The ASWSUV senate and external affairs committee decided to create an event to educate students about affordable community services available to help them and their families stay healthy. They enlisted the help of Randy Boose, director of human resources for WSU Vancouver, Michelle McIlvoy, manager of the Office of Student Involvement, and others to bring organizations to campus for what they hope will become an annual or bi-annual event.

“Depending on a person’s income, some of these organizations provide emergency care for little to no cost and others offer greatly reduced rates,” McNa said.

At the drop-in event, Columbia River Occupational Health will check students’ blood pressure and blood sugar (finger stick required) for free. They will also provide flu shots for only $18 and a complete battery of blood screening tests for $20.

On Thursday, Free Clinic of Southwest Washington will screen students’ dental health in their mobile dental van to determine if emergency dental care is needed. The Free Clinic will either provide follow-up care soon thereafter or will guide students to an appropriate dental facility.

McNa, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, also invited representatives from the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and the WSU Vancouver VetCorps to attend.

“We have a lot of veterans and enlisted military personnel on this campus,” McNa said. “As a vet, I know how hard it can be to navigate veterans benefits and to find the services you need. There are many great services available; however, the VA can be a complicated and intimidating process.”

Other health and service providers attending the event include PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, New Day Community Dental Clinic, Clark County Food Bank, Clark County Public Health, Planned Parenthood, campus Recreation Office and Columbia Credit Union.
Food and beverages will be provided with a focus on delicious, healthy alternatives.

McNa credits fellow students, senators and members of the external affairs committee, Jared Cavanaugh, Ariel Goldsworth and Cera Thackeray for helping to plan and execute the ASWSUV event.

Students who attend the event will be asked to complete an email evaluation to help inform future campus events.

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