Health Fair offers free health services

By Whitney Blair Wyckoff

The Special Populations’ Student Health Concerns Committee will host its 14th annual health fair today at the Illini Union.

The fair, called “Lights, Camera, Action on Health,” will feature more than 60 exhibitors, many of whom will offer free health-related services.

“This is a great opportunity for students to learn what resources they have available,” said Kat McDermont, club president and junior in AHS.

McDermont said that one of the most important features of the health fair is a Champaign-Urbana Public Health District mobile clinic.

It will provide the first dosage of the HPV vaccine to women and girls between the ages 9 and 19 for $6. Women who are over 19 would have to present a Medicaid card to take advantage of this service.

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The fair also will offer free cholesterol, glucose, spinal, vision and blood pressure screenings, provided by McKinley and other local health care organizations.

Carle Foundation Hospital, Provena Covenant Medical Center, Christie Clinic, Planned Parenthood, Community Blood Services and the American Cancer Society will also be present along with other units.

The committee also plans to offer free massages, manicures, chiropractic services and dental hygiene evaluations.

“It is important to keep a regular maintenance on yourself,” said Amanda Vlcek, graduate student in AHS.

“We’ve made it so we can attract as many people as possible,” said Christina Byun, also a graduate student in AHS. There will be door prizes and raffles for gift certificates.

The fair will also feature a variety of entertainment. In addition to a DJ, the fair will feature performances from HipNotic and Unexxxposed hip hop dance groups, Iota Phi Theta Stepping, Cosa Meara Company of Irish Dance, 3 Spot, Illini ‘N Motion, Dance 2XS Caliente, Identity Irish Dance Company and the Girls Next Door.

Vlcek said that many dance groups were chosen because they promote exercise. Also, popcorn and cookies will be served at the event.

Special Populations’ Student Health Concerns Committee, a subset of McKinley, plans the event each year.

The committee works to target students with unique needs, including international students, minority students and students with disabilities.

“There are a lot of health issues in the college environment,” said Jerry Ogbudimkpa, director of health education for McKinley, explaining why the committee started doing a health fair.

“We wanted to do something interactive for students (to help them),” he added.

The fair will be held today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C. Both students and members of the University community are welcome.