By Sierra Kish
Issues such as tobacco, college drinking, depression, anxiety, sexually transmitted infections and vaping were covered at the Wellfest health fair.
Students, professors and faculty of the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, along with 24 vendors, participated in the health fair Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual event was a part of the wellness festival later that day.
Amy Weaver, associate professor of nursing, was one of the instructors that organized the event and said it was important for the students and the Youngstown community.
According to Weaver, the event was sponsored by juniors of the nursing program, who had to pick their health topic and gather research to put on their table or poster board.
Giovanni Bruno, junior nursing major, did a project about testicular cancer along with some classmates, and it helped him learn about the prevention, symptoms and treatment of the disease.
“The project helped me understand a disease I could be working with one day with patients or maybe even have myself,” Bruno said.
The vaping table included information on why a person should quit vaping, the best ways to quit and what happens when a person quits.
Weaver said she wanted vaping to be covered because of recent vaping news.
“Young people are vaping, and a lot is unknown about vaping, so I wanted to make sure that was covered. And the table turned out to be a very popular one,” Weaver said.
Additionally, the STI table was a hot topic for the students to research in the light of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases being on the rise.
Combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in the United States in 2018, according to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC report, there were 1.8 million cases of chlamydia, which is a 19% increase since 2014. There were 583,405 cases of gonorrhea, which is a 63% increase since 2014.
Additionally, there were 35,063 cases of primary and secondary syphilis, which is a 71% increase since 2014. There were 1,306 cases of congenital syphilis, which is a 185% increase since 2014.
“College students need to get that information on how to prevent those,” Weaver said.
Representatives for the Pregnancy Help Center also attended the event.
The Pregnancy Help Center is in Youngstown. It offers medical services, support services and information regarding fetal development, STIs and adoption. All these services are provided at no cost.
This also includes pregnancy testing, post-abortion recovery support, men’s mentoring, information and more.
Weaver said the event was eye-opening for the students.
“I am always amazed at how well the students do with this project and the turnout we have. Just the fact that they get to have this experience in school is so valuable to them,” Weaver said.
The turnout was 434 people, according to check-ins on the YSU app, but there were many others that attended, including staff, faculty and visitors.