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Campus News : October 2011
www.uow.edu.au University of Wollongong Campus News October 2011 9 UOW IN THE COMMUNITY University of Wollongong students played a key role in a free mass health screening for men in Wollongong in September, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) Professor Don Iverson believes it provided a hugely valuable lesson for the students. Around 150 students from UOW's medical, nursing, exercise science and health and medical sciences courses worked as volunteer clinical assistants at the second annual ahm CHECK IT event at WIN Entertainment Centre, providing free health assessments for more than 850 men. Their first "patients" were former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh and rugby league identity Michael Hagan, who attended CHECK IT to help promote the importance of men having regular check-ups. The students conducted a series of tests on each "patient", including taking blood for cholesterol and blood sugar readings, taking blood pressure, and measuring height and weight for a Body Mass Index Students check in for health lesson Breast support, media workshops and community gardens aren't often discussed at the same event. The three diverse subject areas, however, are part of projects that have received funding for the next round of Community Engagement Grants Scheme (CEGS) projects. CEGS is administered by UOW's Office of Community and Partnerships, which announced $50,000 of funding for six projects at a breakfast in September. Community Engagement Manager Leanne Newsham said each project would result in co-operation between UOW staff and students and various community partners, and would have a positive impact on the wider community. Ms Newsham said the scheme was introduced in 2005 and had since distributed $300,000 to deserving projects. Among the successful projects in the latest funding was "Beating Breast Bounce", which aims to address health problems in adolescent girls through the implementation of education resources on breast support for high school students. Other recipients included a partnership between UOW TV and community group Vibewire Youth to present a series of eight multi-media and social impact workshops to students in the Shoalhaven, and a community garden project between UOW's Science Centre and Planetarium and Illawarra Vocational Services to promote the re-use of waste materials. The 2011 recipients were: 1. Beating breast bounce: an educational resource on breast support for high school students ($10,000). Dr Deirdre McGhee, Professor Julie Steele and Dr Bridget Munro, Biomechanics Research Laboratory; Jenny Vatovec, Faculty of Education. With St Mary's College and Keira High School. 2. Creativity and expertise: documenting and publishing the life and work of the late Janet Cosh ($10,000). Jean Clarke, Janet Cosh Herbarium. With the South Coast Writers Centre and the National Parks Foundation. 3. Engaging smart kids in the University: A pilot program for high school students ($8533). Professor Wilma Vialle and Sarah Smith, Faculty of Education. With the NSW Association for Gifted and Talented Children, Illawarra schools and families and workshop presenters. 4. Dementia Online Illawarra: Innovative approaches to supporting the information needs of Dementia service providers in the Illawarra ($9742). Lyn Phillipson and Donata Palinkas, Centre for Health Initiatives, Peter Samsa, Australian Health Services Research Institute and Associate Professor Helen Hasan, Faculty of Commerce. With Illawarra Forum, Illawarra Dementia Services Network and Alzheimer's Australia, NSW. 5. UOWTV/Vibewire: Shoalhaven Media Makers ($10,000). Shawn Burns and Jo Stirling, Faculty of Creative Arts. With Vibewire Youth Inc and UOW Shoalhaven Campus. 6. Sustainable Community Garden Education Project ($5000). Glen Moore, Science Centre & Planetarium. With The Disability Trust's Illawarra Vocational Services. JB Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Rob Castle (fourth from right) and Community Referecne Group chair David Morgan Williams (second from right) with Community Engagement Grants Scheme recipients. Cooperation at heart of CEGS projects (BMI) assessment. They advised men with high readings to consult their doctor, while those with dangerously high readings were referred to doctors on duty at the event. Professor Iverson said the event gave students invaluable experience in a clinical setting, while also providing them with opportunities to intervene to help people better manage their health. "It was a great chance for the students to practise their clinical and communications skills with a wide cross- section of people," he said. "And it gave them the chance to really help people by identifying danger signs in the test results and explaining the importance of further investigation. That is an important part of their development as health professionals, and shows them that they can make a difference in people's lives." CHECK IT was organised by Healthier Illawarra Men (HIM) - a committee of business, community, medical and UOW representatives formed to promote greater awareness of health issues among the region's male population. Professor Iverson, Kay Kent and Sue Liersch from the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Graduate School of Medicine lecturer Kathryn Rhodes are members of the HIM committee. CHECK IT was run under the auspices of the Illawarra Division of General Practice, with sponsorship support led by health fund ahm, UOW and the area health service. NH UOW Medical student Isobella Henzell checks former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh's blood pressure at CHECK IT, a free men's health screening event.