New Health Education and Wellness Office Welcomes Students
Providence, R.I.—Leaders of student groups lauded the new central location of the Providence College Health Education and Wellness Office, which has formally opened on the lower level of the Slavin Center with a blessing by College Chaplain Rev. James Cuddy, O.P. ’98.
Catherine M. Gates, the health education and wellness coordinator, used to split her time between small rooms in the Student Health Center in Bedford Hall on East Campus and on an upper floor of Slavin, the College's student union. Now she will be based in Slavin LL28.
The new space, decorated with rugs, wall hangings, and plants, is more conducive for confidential consultations, said Catherine Kelleher, R.N., nursing director of the Student Health Center.
The center’s mission is to guide students toward healthy choices, such as smoking cessation, as well as “having students be more mindful about taking care of themselves as they move into their adult lives,” Gates said.
PC has committed to supporting wellness initiatives for students. Health promotion, including alcohol and drug education, is part of a core value of the Strategic Plan, Preparing Our Students for Lives of Meaning and Purpose, to improve student life and achievement.
The open house presented an opportunity to showcase some of the office’s educational tools, including a skin analyzer that uses ultraviolet light to show sun damage.
The office also serves as meeting space for the student groups Gates advises: Colleges Against Cancer, which organizes teams for the Relay for Life, and Simply Healthy, which supports student wellness on campus.
“It’s nice to have one cohesive center for all of us,” said Vanessa Fiasconaro ’12 (Staten Island, N.Y.), the secretary of Colleges Against Cancer.
Megan Sforza ’12 (Darien, Conn.) serves on the executive board of Simply Healthy and also worsk as a certified peer counselor.
“Having this office makes it easier because all of our resources are here,” Sforza said. If a student needs pamphlets or other information, they will have easy access to it, she said.
-- Liz F. Kay