An address by Ellen Hart Pe–a, wife of United States Secretary of Transportation Federico Pe–a, will highlight activities during Health Awareness Week on the Cornell University campus, Feb. 10 through Feb. 14.
The annual week-long campus focus on health issues -- formerly known as Sexual Health Awareness Week -- is planned and implemented by undergraduate clinical volunteers affiliated with the university's Gannett Health Center. Pe–a's presentation, "Back on Track," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in Statler Auditorium, will address awareness and prevention of eating disorders, a health problem common among college-age students. Her address, co-sponsored by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils, is free and open to the public.
Pe–a is an attorney, a former world-class runner and a survivor of anorexia and bulimia. She serves on the Harvard Eating Disorders Center Advisory Board. Her personal struggle with and triumph over eating disorders was documented this past fall in the ABC-TV movie Dying To Be Perfect: The Ellen Hart Pe–a Story.
Other Health Awareness Week activities will include a Health Fair on Tuesday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room. More than 20 campus groups and 15 community health advocacy organizations will staff information tables, offer health assessments, lead hands-on activities and games, give demonstrations of self-defense and other techniques, provide free massages, hand out free samples and provide information about local professional resources and referrals. The Health Fair also will include raffles and door prizes. Student volunteers will staff health information tables during the lunch and supper hours, Monday through Friday, at different campus locations.
The 30 student volunteers on the Health Awareness Week Steering Committee launched a "Penny Drive" during the fall semester, and with the help of 125 participants raised more than $800 to help fund the week's activities. The steering committee is chaired by Larissa Mooney '97 and advised by Janice Saidla, Gannett Health Center coordinator of clinical volunteers.
Gannett Health Center has organized a campus-wide week of health-related activities in February for more than 14 years. This year's events are sponsored by Gannett Health Center clinical volunteers assisted by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils, Willard Straight Program Board, Cornell Athletic Department, Cornell Undergraduate Nutrition Organization, Black Biomedical and Technical Association and Student Health Alliance at Cornell.