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Annual health fair slated for Tuesday

The traditionally fast-moving traffic through the Student Services breezeway may slow to a crawl Tuesday as Student Health Services expects 1,000 faculty and students to attend its annual health fair.

From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., attendees can visit about 10 different health stations, where an individual’s blood pressure, hearing and other health issues can be checked. To help administer the various screenings, SHS has invited on-campus health staff and outside businesses such as J.C. Penney Optical.

Viva la Health, the theme for the 15th annual fair, literally means live the health. Laura Rusnak, the fair’s coordinator, wants USF to stay healthy by taking advantage of the free screenings.

Even if a person feels well, the three and a half-hour event is more of a preventative health fair, she said.

“Many times people see their physicians when they’re not well, but this is prevention – (where people) work on things before they become problems so they won’t have to see their doctors,” she said.

Freshman Angel Olsen, a music education major, said if she attends the fair, she’d check her hearing because she often hears loud bells and horns.

“Even though I tend to keep a busy schedule, I’ll come by and check it out if I get some free time,” Olsen said.

Rusnak knows that most faculty and students can’t participate to the extent they would like, but her staff is prepared to attract passersby with free giveaways.

“We know people are naturally drawn to things they can get for free – especially college students,” she said.

Because past health fairs were a success, Rusnak said people have asked if SHS could offer the health fair at least twice a year. But Rusnak said SHS doesn’t have the staff needed to host an event more than once a year. She said the goal for SHS is to host a large, one-time event rather than a few smaller events throughout the year.

The fair, which takes five months to plan, is “a huge event to organize,” Rusnak said. “And there’s only one of me. But people have so much fun, and I’m glad they really like it.”

Sally Sweitzer, a senior clerk at SHS, said because she lifts boxes often, she hopes to sneak away for a quick massage.

“Oh, I love it,” she said. “And I need it so badly. But on that day, I’m not going to have time (for a health screen) because I’m working.”

If faculty and students can’t attend the health fair, Rusnak said SHS is always available to meet people’s needs. She also said there are no additional fees to see an on-campus physician because health fees, especially for students, are included in the cost of tuition.

For more information, call SHS Health Education at 974-4936.