School of Nursing Promotes Healthy Lifestyles
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma supports TU School of Nursing programs to promote healthy lifestyles.
The University of Tulsa School of Nursing has initiated a yearlong series of activities to promote well-being among residents in a neighborhood that is one of Tulsa’s most economically challenged.
The activities will encourage active lifestyles and healthy choices by residents of all ages from the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, which adjoins the TU campus. The initiative was made possible through a donation to the university from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK).
“At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, we’re always looking for ways to support wellness in the communities where we live and work,” said Bert Marshall, president of BCBSOK. “This was a tremendous opportunity to not only support wellness, but to support TU’s nursing students to help raise up the next generation of health care professionals to improve the health of our state.”
Dr. Susan Gaston, director of the School of Nursing, said these programs will offer the opportunity for TU faculty and staff to provide practical learning opportunities while also fulfilling the university’s mission of service.
While the university provides students with the best classroom instruction available, these out-of-classroom programs allow students to work with at-risk groups in a real and meaningful way to make a difference in the lives of the Kendall-Whittier residents. University officials said that students who participate in community service activities are more likely to continue volunteering once they graduate and become professionals.
The outreach efforts began in March with TU Clinical Professor of Athletic Training Jason West and his students holding a fitness screening for more than 20 parents and 50 children during Kendall-Whittier Elementary School’s Family Fitness Night. The following week, nursing and exercise sciences students conducted a health screening fair for Kendall-Whittier.
Elementary School students and their parents. More than 200 students and adults participated in the fair, which included information about nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and the dangers of smokeless tobacco. Additional health and wellness events for students and family are planned for later this year.
In addition to health screenings, projects will include a series of monthly education sessions for parents and adults; exercise programs for parents and students; and a “Parents University” that seeks to give Kendall-Whittier parents the tools and information needed to hone their parental skills while enhancing the well-being of all family members.
The education sessions will feature different topics each month including discipline, child development, playground safety, food and nutrition, CPR training, women’s health, and stress reduction.
The university also is working to utilize a unique sports exercise program that incorporates physical fitness with educational components that support physical, social and psychological well-being. The HOPSports Exercise program incorporates video instruction and messages from notable sports figures to encourage participants through activities including sports drills, aerobics, Pilates, yoga and other activities.
The activities within the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood are part of TU’s True Blue Neighbors initiative, which seeks to share resources and people to help improve the quality of life in one of the city’s most economically challenged areas.
For more information about the upcoming activities in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, contact the TU School of Nursing at (918) 631-3116.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is the state's oldest and largest insurer, providing coverage to Oklahomans for more than 70 years. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve company, an independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About The University of Tulsa
The University of Tulsa, ranked among the Top 100 universities in the nation, is a private university providing comprehensive educational opportunities to more than 4,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Students from across the nation and more than 60 countries worldwide enjoy TU’s personalized attention, small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio.