Florida A&M University Student Writer
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) "" The HBCU Wellness Project uses human and social capital in Tennessee to promote health and wellness in the surrounding communities.
"I look at wellness holistically," said Candace Jones, a senior sociology student from Detroit, Mich. Jones is a wellness project health ambassador at Fisk University. "It is important that we as people stay healthy "" physically, mentally, emotionally and most of all spiritually."
Meharry Medical College directs the program throughout the state. It operates through five HBCUs: Fisk University, Knoxville College, Lane College, LeMonye Owen College and Tennessee State University.
The project uses intervention initiatives that are designed to promote wellness. Its goal is to modify risks for chronic disease through service-oriented and educational resources. In order to be effective, the program developed five objectives which are:
"¢ To conduct needs assessments for local communities and campuses. "¢ Enhance the capacity of faculty to integrate service-learning into the curricula. "¢ Recruit, train and guide student health ambassadors to develop health and wellness projects to promote readiness for change. "¢ Assess short and long-term outcomes of service-learning activities in communities of color. "¢ Develop and maintain a pipeline of students of color interested in entering health professions workforce.
Jones is a spearhead for the "Men's Health Matters: Prostate Cancer Awareness" health initiative. She uses her events and research to target African-American men in the north Nashville community who need educating on the risks of prostate cancer. "The best part to me is that the men I educate can then educate their friend, brother or son about the prevalence and risks of prostate cancer," said Jones.
Another initiative under the project is the "HBCU Obesity Awareness Campaign," in which HBCUs partner with the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of Minority Health. The goals and objectives of the program are to reduce an increase in obesity. The campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and obesity awareness. Ambassadors engage students in behavioral practices and educational activities designed to assist in reducing weight gain risk factors.
"It was a rewarding experience," said Jones in reference to her work and research she has done for the project.
For more information on the HBCU Wellness Project, visit http://www.fisk.edu/services-resources/hbcu-wellness-project.
The HBCU Writer's Project is designed to allow students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to exhibit their writing skills and have their works published on a national news wire website. Submissions are authored by individual student writers, and are not officially endorsed by any educational institution. For more information on the HBCU Writer's Project, contact 1-877-BlackPR or email firstname.lastname@example.org.