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The UGA Health Center is located on 55 Carlton Street in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Jason Born)

February is American Heart Month, and the UGA University Health Center wants to make sure students get the resources they need. At the 5th annual Heart Health Fair, many students went home with condoms, recipes, eyeglass cleaners and above all, information.

Kristine Groft, the senior communications coordinator for the UHC, explained the importance of reaching students regarding heart healthiness.

“We try to reach out to our campus partners and students across campus that have an interest in anything about heart health,” Groft said.

At the UHC, UGA Emergency Preparedness demonstrated how to stop bleeding as part of a nationwide “Stop the Bleed” campaign. The Student Health Advisory Committee set up a panel about maintaining good mental health.

“With heart health comes your mental health and they both interplay a lot, so we’re really trying to focus on students to take care of themselves and to know what the Health Center has for them,” said Ashley Huggins, a junior cellular biology major and member of the Student Health Advisory Committee.

Students were able to collect handouts and prizes at each table, including a t-shirt if they had gone to at least five tables. Panels covered topics such vision health, safe sex and heart healthy food.

Students were given the opportunity to get their blood pressure and glucose levels taken, as well as donate blood as part of the blood drive that was occurring at the same time.

“We always bring [the Red Cross] in on this day,” Groft said. “The [Red Cross] has almost depleted their bank and so it’s really vital that we get as many people as possible to try and donate blood today.”

AJ Norton, a junior poultry science major, explained his reasoning for donating blood.

“I feel like every chance I get, I need to help somebody. So, donating blood is a great chance to help someone,” Norton said.

The importance of stress management was also emphasized. There was a panel for physical therapy and massage therapy explaining its stress-relieving benefits. UGA College of Pharmacy students discussed different methods of lowering one’s stress, including healthy communication and lots of rest.

“Eventually at the end of the day, everything kind of correlates to heart health, whether its a healthy relationship, physical or nutrition,” Groft said.

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