Gabrielle Turner

(Rock Hill, S.C.) – Winthrop University hosted a number of health and wellness fairs during the fall semester, including one hosted by the Department of Human Nutrition, which was intended to give students free screenings for their bone density, blood pressure, grip strength, blood sugar and more.

The student health fair, Oct. 21 in the West Center Gym, also gave graduate students in the dietetic internship program an opportunity to practice working with patients, along with nurses who were on hand to help.

“This has actually been a very fun event for all of them. They’ve been able to apply a number of the different techniques they have learned throughout our program,” said Stephanie Nielson, director of the dietetic internship program, who oversaw the event and played a large role in getting the health fair up and running.

Participants cycled through stations where an intern would guide them through each practice. Some were familiar, like checking height, weight and blood pressure, but others, such as grip strength and bone density, may have been a bit more new.

The final station, which came after checking a person’s blood sugar, was a questionnaire about the eating habits of each participant. Based on the answers, the interns would give some advice to the person to help improve their health.

“It’s an overview of your health to see. It’s different when you see it on paper, like what you usually eat and most importantly the food groups you may be missing,” said Darrius Marable, a dietetics intern at Winthrop. “We’ll come up with some goals, working with you to come up with some goals to come up with a more complete diet plan.”

The fair was free of charge to anyone and while it was intended to help participants get notified of any surface level health issues, it also allowed students to get hands-on experience using tools that they will need in their future careers.

There are plans to host another student health fair during the spring semester, with hopes of expanding the event to reach more students and staff in the future.