What will you do to become the healthiest nation in one generation? That was the question poised to Oregon State University students and community members who took part in the Public Health Fair Friday, April 11.
Held in conjunction with the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) National Public Health Week (NPHW), the College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ (CPHHS) Public Health Club hosted the fair as an effort to encourage taking a proactive, preventive approach to health.
“We asked people to sign a poster answering the question of how they can promote the goal of becoming the healthiest nation in one generation, and it was great to see so many people making a commitment to change something in their life to move toward that goal,” says Public Health Club member Nastassia Donoho.
With nearly 25 booths featuring 30 Oregon State clubs and community organizations, the event provided participants with resources to live a healthier life.
“The OSU Public Health Club’s goal is to educate and promote health,” she says. “This event proved that so many people were unaware of our community’s health and the resources available to them to become the healthiest possible – and they were surprised that our current generation is not healthier than the one before us. I’m pleased that with the help of campus and community partners, we were able to provide that information to make a positive, healthy change in their lives.”
Focusing on NPHW’s five daily themes – be healthy from the start, don’t panic, get out ahead, eat well and be the healthiest nation in one generation – a few hundred people who visited the fair walked away with increased knowledge and awareness, valuable information and fliers. Some won prizes for participating in hands-on activities.
“There are several factors that contribute to individual health and the health of a community as a whole,” says Public Health Club member Miyuki Blatt. “Nutrition and fitness are, of course, extremely important, we must also consider other factors such as social health, mental health, emergency preparedness and general community involvement when thinking of what contributes to public health.”
Having participated in National Public Health Week every year since the Public Health Club began, event organizers say this year was the most successful, reaching the largest population and offering a variety of information from various campus and community organizations such as the CPHHS Nutrition and Dietetics Club, KidSpirit, Heartland Humane Society, the Corvallis Fire Department and more.
“We are proud of how many people took part in our interactive activity,” Nastassia says. “We feel it is very important to take part in National Public Health Week and get the word out about what public health is.”
In addition to campus activities, the Public Health Club participated in – and won – a “face-off” event on APHA’s Facebook page where the community was asked to vote for their favorite photo between the Public Health Club’s and another university. As part of the prize for winning, the club will be featured in the APHA newsletter.