‘Be the CEO of Your Health’ Health and Wellness Fair helps Bobcats take charge of their well-being

April 16, 2024

A student smiles while being handed a paper in front of the large blowup Bobcat.

The partnership of Quinnipiac and Hartford HealthCare brought hundreds of Bobcats to the table to meet with many different organizations and agencies during the “Be the CEO of Your Health” Health and Wellness Fair on the Mount Carmel Campus.

The April 11 event in Recreation and Wellness Center offered a wealth of tips, tools, activities and information from a large number of participating organizations gathered under one roof. Students were quickly elevated to the C-suite of self-care as they visited experts and representatives to pick up tips on health and wellness practices, safety and awareness programs, specialized initiatives, and other offerings.

The fair atmosphere was rounded out with hands-on activities, healthy snacks and health-related prizes.

“We want to make sure that students have the best experience and education surrounding health and wellness. We want to prepare them to be active participants in the community and to make sure they take care of themselves first,” said Heather Gatchek, director of health services and campus care at Hartford HealthCare.

Gatchek said the fair brought together all different aspects of services available to students through the partnership of Hartford HealthCare and Quinnipiac, as well as additional opportunities available through the university and from organizations and agencies in the surrounding community.

A big draw at the center of the fair gave students the chance to walk the walls of an inflatable colon, following signs showing various stages of health and disease along the way. Another popular stop, sponsored by Quinnipiac Public Safety, put students to the test wearing impairment goggles.

By trying out four different types of goggles, students got a first-hand view of the effects of different stages and types of substance impairment. Enthusiastic student participants struggled at simple tasks such as dropping a ball in a cup, fitting shapes into corresponding spaces on a child’s toy, walking a straight line, or playing a round of cornhole.

Public Safety Sergeant Jim Moniello, Investigator Brian Stewart and Clery Compliance Officer and Investigator Joe Dease said it was fun to be interacting with the students while also helping to keep them healthy and safe.

“When I put the goggles on, I didn’t even want to walk,” said Dease. “It’s been fun interacting with the kids on a different level and it’s also rewarding. It’s always good to have that network.”

At another corner of the fair, Kendall Evans, ’26, took on a brief burpee repetition cardio challenge posed by the Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Orthopaedics Institute.

“It was fun, because I came with my cardio class,” said Evans. “We’re just checking it out and finding ways to stay healthy here on campus."

Jen Moore, marketing manager of the Quinnipiac dining experience, highlighted its ongoing “Joy-ful” program with a “Thought-ful” table promoting mindfulness. Moore offered students healthy snacks, tips for stress relief through mindfulness and making time for movement and a stress-relieving coloring activity.

“The brand of Joy-ful is meant to celebrate what’s best within us and as a community. This is about celebrating the engagement with students by helping them to be mindful,” said Moore.

Hartford HealthCare Community Outreach Specialist Toyin Davis encouraged female Bobcats to take charge of their health when it comes to breast cancer awareness, by developing detection habits early and undertaking recommended healthcare visits and screenings throughout their lives.

“If we can educate the younger population through tools like the breast model or by following the self-examination cards, they will be aware and know the importance behind the screening,” said Davis. “The hope is they’ll start their screenings on time and we’ll save more lives.”

Melissa Wright, ’24, said attending the “Be the CEO of Your Health” Health and Wellness Fair assisted her in more ways than one, especially after visiting with representatives of a private practice participating in the fair, Connecticut Orthopeadics.

“I just recently hurt my wrist and I’ve been bouncing around from New York to Connecticut with different doctors’ appointments. They have an app that I had no clue about which would have made it a lot easier to find care for my wrist,” said Wright.

Wright said she’s also utilized health and wellness resources on campus, including Wellness Wednesdays. The weekly event offers students different wellness themes, educational information, activities and more at the Recreation and Wellness Center.

“There’s a bunch of Wellness Wednesdays I usually partake in,” said Wright, a psychology major. “There are things like journaling prompts, which I think are really helpful with mental health and wellbeing. "

Mary Pellitteri, Hartford HealthCare counselor with Quinnipiac Counseling Services, said a range of clinical services and mental health support is available at no cost to students.

“Today, we’re talking to students about the importance of mindfulness. Even practicing mindfulness for a few minutes a day can help to reduce anxiety, to focus better, or help you get to sleep,” said Pellitteri. “And, as always, our message to students is that we’re here for you.”

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now