1,500 Turn Out for Medical Campus ‘Week of Well-Being’ Event

For Nicole Crooks, a family care coordinator at the Mailman Center for Child Development, the University of Miami “Week of Well-Being” medical campus event on Tuesday, April 5, provided an opportunity to learn about UM’s comprehensive benefits programs. For Frank Sotolongo, a patient account representative in the Miller School’s Department of Surgery, the goal was “to see all latest wellness offerings available to us.”

Crooks and Sotolongo were among the estimated 1,500 students, faculty and staff members who attended the wellness fair on the Schoninger Research Quadrangle.

“Each year we come to all three UM campuses to showcase the many aspects of wellness,” said Sheri Virok, manager of Human Resource Benefits.

In keeping with the focus on physical, emotional, financial, spiritual and community well-being, attendees could get free massages, sample smoothies made with solar power or get a free five-day pass to the UHealth Fitness & Wellness Center. They could also take part in biometric testing as well as vision screening at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Vision Van. Insurance and retirement planning professionals were on hand to help faculty and staff members improve their financial well-being.

Attendees could also bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Camillus House or visit the Cards for a Cause booth to create an uplifting greeting card for a child at Holtz Children’s Hospital or a U.S. military veteran.

“We can all do something to help others, and writing a personal get-well note was my favorite part of the event,” said Sotolongo.

A team of first-year Miller School M.D./M.P.H. students offered healthy snacks at their “Healthy Hospitals 4 U” booth.

“As future physicians, we need to set a good example to others,” said Rebecca Lane, vice president of the student-run organization.

Heather Farthing, president, added that the group wants to increase awareness of healthy food options available on the medical campus, and is preparing a print and online map.

“Good nutrition is particularly important to the well-being of students and physicians who often don’t have time to look around and compare their options,” she said.

Getting a good night’s sleep is also important to physical and emotional well-being, and a team from the UHealth Sleep Center was on hand to discuss problems like insomnia and sleep apnea.

“We try to promote good sleep hygiene for students who study at night and professionals who work different shifts on the medical campus,” said Elizabeth Primus, clinical coordinator.

Summing up the purpose of the event, Virok said, “We have really ramped up our wellness benefits in recent years. We know that the well-being of our people is fundamental to the well-being of our university.”

A photo gallery from the health fair can be found here.

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