Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Free LIFE Clinic Helps Those with Pain

Do you know someone who lives with pain every day or has difficulty completing simple to more complex day-to-day activities? Tell them about Parkland College’s Learning Information for Everyday (LIFE) Clinic, offered by our Occupational Therapy Assistant program, because we can help.

We started the LIFE Clinic two years ago as a FREE service to our community. That’s right, free. For those in our communities who come and see us, we can offer simple strategies to conserve energy or recommend or construct an assistive device to help them navigate their activities better.

What do people think about our LIFE Clinic services? One of our clients, who experiences pain in her right hand, had this to say last spring:

Modification fabricated by OTA students.

“I had no idea of what occupational therapy assistants did. They developed creative contraptions to help me be able to walk my dogs and pour water from gallon glass jugs with much less pain. The students were kind, professional, very pleasant ,and helpful. I was impressed! It was a good day when I met Michelle and her students! Thank you so much!”

If you or someone you know could benefit from the LIFE Clinic at Parkland College, just give us a call at 217/353-2782. For Spring Semester 2018, the LIFE Clinic will offer services Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., March 1, 8, 15, and 29.

[Michelle Roberts is the OTA program director at Parkland College.]

World AIDS Day 2017

For this week’s blog post, we’ll be discussing an intersection between Public Health and Public Safety as we observe World AIDS Day today, December 1.

First, some fast facts about HIV:

  • At the end of 2014, the most recent year for which such data are available, an estimated 1,107,700 adults and adolescents were living with HIV.
  • Of those, an estimated 166,000 (15%) had not been diagnosed.
  • The number of new HIV diagnoses fell 19% from 2005 to 2014. Because HIV testing has remained stable or increased in recent years, this decrease in diagnoses suggests a true decline in new infections.

Although undeniable progress has been made in the fight to eradicate HIV/AIDS, the job isn’t finished; plenty more work has to be done, both domestically and abroad. If you’d like to get involved, here are ideas on how to help:

  • Reach out to a local HIV  service organization. Many organizations have support groups for people living with HIV and their loved ones. To find a local HIV/AIDS service organization near you, use HIV.gov’s HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator.
  • Get involved in your community. To get involved in HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and advocacy, contact your local HIV service organizations and/or community health department. These groups can help identify local volunteer opportunities. You can also visit the sites listed below to search HIV-related volunteer opportunities.
  • Engage with others. Social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat offer opportunities to connect with others who are interested and involved in HIV issues.

***This post was compiled using resources from hiv.gov and the CDC.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

I’m a Cubs fan, and I’m glad they lost

Rattle the Stars Executive Director Kim Bryan has graciously shared with us her journey of suicide loss, below. She is one of many who have had to endure similar painful experiences. Join Kim and others Saturday, Nov. 18, as Parkland College recognizes International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day with a program and discussion, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room U140 of the Student Union.

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When the Cubs disappointingly dropped game five to the Dodgers, I breathed a small sigh of relief.  We’re a family of Cubs fans: my husband was sucked in at age 7 in 1984, I acquired fandom through 20 years of marriage to a die-hard, and my kids were all born into it.  We even named our youngest daughter after Ryne Sandberg (she has yet to decide whether she loves or hates it).  We made a regular pilgrimage to the Eden that is Wrigley Field, and even braved the cold to wish her a happy 100th birthday.  As much as I would have loved to see my beloved Cubbies repeat this year, I was glad to be spared the pain that comes with their success.

In April 2016, just as the magical season was getting underway, my 19-year-old son died of suicide.  Sam had battled depression for several years, and after the dreadful disease drained every ounce of his happiness, it moved on to those who loved him.  When Sam died, my world went dark.  For the entire regular season, the Cubs were the farthest thing from my mind.  Just getting up and functioning each day was exhausting, and every spare moment I had was spent questioning the last minutes, hours, days, years of Sam’s life trying to figure what I could have done differently, better, to save him.

By the time October rolled around, I was just beginning to pay attention to the rest of the world again, and the Cubbies were certainly demanding attention.  But with every win, I was secretly hoping they would lose.  The little voice in my head was begging them not to win, not now, not this year.  When they won Game 6 of the NLCS, I cried.  I cried, not out of happiness, but out of grief and loss.  It was really happening.  The Cubs were going to the Series, and he was missing it.  How could he miss this?  It was all he had wanted since Neifi Perez tossed his batting gloves over the dugout to him at his first Cubs game.  Despite my best efforts, they just insisted on winning.  When Rizzo made the final out, and the world erupted in celebration, I sat stone-face on my couch, not able to move.  I finally managed a hug to my husband, but no words would even come.  This was just adding insult to injury.  Six months after suicide stole my son from the world, his dream came true.

A few days later, my family made another pilgrimage to the Eden that is Wrigley Field.  I was determined that Sam was not going to miss this.  We put on all our Cubs gear and took the worn-out Cubs hat that Sam wore every day for years, and we joined countless others in writing our tributes in chalk on the brick.  Even though I know it was eventually washed away, it was comforting to know that his name was on that wall.  A piece of him was there at Wrigley celebrating his beloved Cubbies winning the World Series.  We hugged and cried and reminisced about the great times we had had there.  We stayed as long as we could, and then begrudgingly left for home, feeling the gaping hole in our lives that was left when Sam died.

The most difficult part of healing from the death of my son has been reconciling the simultaneous happiness and sadness that comes with times of joy.  When I first started to feel happiness again, I felt guilty for it.  I actually dreaded things that I would feel good about, things that would bring me joy, because I knew that they would also bring guilt and regret, and things that I knew Sam would enjoy were the absolute worst.  Before his death, Sam had written that he knew people would be sad when he died, but that they would get over it because they were better off without him.  Every time I felt happy, those words rang in my head.  Happiness meant I was getting over it, and how could I ever possibly get over losing my son?  If I was happy, did that mean I was better off without him?  How was I going to get through the rest of my life if I couldn’t find a way to experience happiness without being consumed by this turmoil?

Thankfully, I began to connect with other survivors of suicide loss.  Through AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk and Survivors of Suicide Loss Day I began to meet and talk with others who understood what I was going through.  I found a community of people that have both supported my personal healing and my new journey to prevent youth suicide with our organization, Rattle the Stars.

It’s now been over a year and half since suicide stole my son from me.  I’m still not great, but with the support of other survivors, I’m getting back to okay.  For me, okay is something to celebrate.

[Dennis Cockrum is a counselor with Parkland College’s Counseling Services department.]

Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season officially starts in October and lasts until April, but it is possible to catch the common cold or influenza any time of the year.

Not sure what you might have? Check your symptoms on the handy chart below from the U.S. National Institute of Health! In either case, you shouldn’t come to school if you’re experiencing a cold or the flu. Focus on recovery and try to keep from infecting anyone else. If you have to leave the house, consider wearing a face mask and be sure to wash your hands often.

Consult with your doctor if you have a health concern of any kind.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Thanks to earlier detection  (via screening and increased awareness) and better treatment options, a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer has dropped significantly (38 percent between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the American Cancer Society). Another way of saying it:  over the last 25 years, 297,300 fewer people have died due to this illness.

Much more work must be done, however, as breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death among women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 37 (about 2.7 percent). Only lung cancer kills more women each year. A large racial /socioeconomic gap in breast-cancer mortality also remains, with African-American women having 42 percent higher death rates compared to whites.

If you or someone you love is concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or if you are trying to stay well after treatment, please consult with your doctor and refer to recommendations set out by the American Cancer Society.

Interested in how to help? Visit the American Cancer Society’s “Get Involved” page for options on how to get involved:.

**The above information was compiled from resources available at the American Cancer Society. **

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Rest up for Finals Week…and Your Safety

Sleep is one of the most powerful indicators of student success, and with good reason. Sleep not only refreshes our organs and physical bodies, but it helps us consolidate and synthesize the information  we take in everyday. Many college students (and adults in general) find that they have trouble getting enough quality sleep at night.

Not only is sleep important for success in the classroom or the workplace, but getting enough sleep is critical for your safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.

I found some great tips for improving the quality and quantity of your sleep, from Middlebury College in Vermont:

Develop a routine. Routines signal to our body that something is about to happen—in this case, sleep! Starting a bedtime routine 30 minutes before going to sleep can help unwind the mind and body and release melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. Starting the routine at the same time and trying to wake up and the same time everyday can improve sleep quality and quantity.

Reduce caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to cause people to take longer to get to sleep, cause more awakenings, and lower the quality of sleep. Many types of soda contain caffeine as does chocolate, coffee and many types of teas.

Limit alcohol. Consuming alcohol, even as little as one to two drinks can produce fragmented sleep, causing a decrease in deep and REM sleep.

Go screen-free. The light emitted from cell phones, computer screens, tablets, and televisions trick our bodies and brains into thinking that it is light outside and we should be awake. Adding screen-free time into your routine can help you fall asleep faster.

Make time for physical activity. Often at the end of the day our brains are exhausted but our bodies are restless after sitting in class all day. Making time for physical activity, even just a walk around campus or your neighborhood, can help the brain and body get on the same page at the end of the day.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Five Tips for Enjoying Spring Break…Safely

Parkland College’s spring break is just around the corner, so here are five tips for staying safe during the break:

Stick together
If you’re going on a trip with a group of friends, you’ll all be safest if you stick together. Should one of you decide to leave a party early or go on a solo shopping trip, make sure others in your group know where you’re going and how long you’ll be.

Keep an eye on your money
You don’t want to get stranded in a new and unfamiliar place without any money, so be sure to bring enough to last you the whole trip. If you carry cash, try to keep the amount you take with you on routine excursions to a minimum. Try distributing your money in various places among your belongings and accommodations so that if by chance you lose some or it’s stolen, you’ll still have more elsewhere.

Alcohol and you
Most spring break trips involve some level of alcohol-related activities, and while you may be safest if you don’t partake, the reality is, that will probably not be the case. Being smart about the way you drink is the next best thing, and that involves being cognizant of the risks of alcohol poisoning, selecting a designated driver if you’ve got to travel, and being wary of accepting drinks from strangers.

Safe sex
Should you decide to have sex during spring break, take the necessary precautions to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STDs/STIs. Make sure that consent has been explicitly and freely established between all parties before engaging in sexual activities.

Use proper activity gear
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that accidental injuries kill more Americans age 30 and under than any other cause of death. With this in mind, be sure to wear those seat belts and use life vests, knee pads, and other appropriate gear, especially before venturing out to some high-risk activity.

Have a fun—and safe—spring break!

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

The Parkland College Department of Public Safety is here to provide a safe and secure campus environment conducive to learning. Every week throughout the year, we’ll be releasing a new public safety message, providing applicable information that you can use to stay safe and have a successful experience here at Parkland.

Our message this week:  Teen Dating Violence Awareness.

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, when we collectively recognize that abuse can happen to anyone at any age, and shouldn’t be overlooked. The 16 to 24 female age group experiences abuse at the highest level of frequency, at almost triple the national average, and 43 percent of college-aged women report experiencing violent and abusive dating relationships.

If you or someone you know feels caught up in an abusive relationship, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and that there are a wealth of resources here at Parkland College to help. Here are a few:

  • Most obviously, you can make a report with the Parkland College Police Department if the abuse is happening here or involves another student. Our officers are also available to talk about it and offer advice, even if it’s not happening on Parkland property.
  • The Parkland College Counseling and Advising Center is staffed with trained counselors who can also provide assistance,
  • You can go to the Dean of Students to get help.

Other resources are available at loveisrespect.org, where you can chat with a live advocate, or call 1-866/331-9474.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

“Try Online!” Series: The Fundamentals of Nutrition

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, taught by Associate Professor Toni Burkhalter, Parkland’s 2016 Teaching Excellence Award winner.

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Summer is an excellent time to learn something new at an accelerated pace that you can immediately put into practice with support from an online community. Whether your goal is to become healthier or merely to investigate foods in a new way, BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, may be worth checking out.

I have a passion for teaching nutrition; very few classes impact a person on a daily basis in such a pronounced way.

As lead instructor for BIO 120, I choose experts in the field to partner and teach with me so we can share accurate information in the field of nutrition. Our students have been an eclectic group of eager learners from across the globe. They are often a mix of practicing nurses sharing their experiences in the field, college students earning a life science credit, high school students anxiously taking their first college course, or seasoned community members wanting to set up a solid foundation of nutrition for their own benefit. Although students enroll in the course for a variety of reasons, most walk away achieving their goals from it, with us by their side.

What to expect
Because students are able to learn BIO 120 course material in various ways, the course appeals to different learning styles. It features 10 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of nutrition. For example, one of the modules, titled “Carbohydrates,” touches on sugars, starch, fiber, glycogen, and the impact of carbohydrates on diabetes. Within this module, students are encouraged to read one chapter from the textbook, watch a short video created specifically for the course, and interact with the module’s PowerPoint.

I assess students’ knowledge of a module by having them complete a discussion, an application-based assignment, and a module quiz. In addition to module work, students have a midterm project in which they reflect on personal dietary choices, a capstone calculation quiz, and a comprehensive final exam. The capstone calculation quiz covers nutrition calculations that were covered throughout the semester; for example, students may be asked to calculate the percentage of calories from fat in a given meal.

All assessments are completed online.

About the instructor: Over the past 14 years, Toni Burkhalter has taught classes that focus on the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body. She continues to keep abreast of the subject by attending conferences, engaging in experiential learning through her sabbatical, and returning to school whenever possible. Often, Toni is taking additional graduate classes at the University of Illinois while teaching full time at Parkland. Toni loves academics and the topics she teaches.

***BIO 120: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section.***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

Nursing Conference: Continuing the Legacy of Sister Julia

[This post was written by Richard Francis, Regional Director for Clinical Education at Presence Covenant Medical Center.]

What if I told you Parkland’s Nursing program had Catholic roots? 

Sister Julia 2
Sister Moriarty (News-Gazette photo.)

Sister Julia Moriarty started Parkland’s nursing program in a joint venture between Parkland College and Presence Covenant Medical Center (then known as Mercy Hospital). Sister Julia was a remarkable and accomplished woman, who was first and foremost a servant to others. A member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, Sister Julia first came to Champaign-Urbana in 1942 to finish her nursing training and serve at the local Catholic hospital. She stayed for close to 50 years.

In the late 1960s, Parkland approached Sister Julia about starting a nursing program at the college. Although at the time, Mercy had its own hospital-based nursing program, Sister Julia saw the college program as a way to positively impact not just one hospital, but the community as a whole and nursing as a profession. Sister Julia spent five years living in the convent with the other sisters at the hospital while working with Parkland to establish their nursing program. Colleagues who taught with Sister Julia typically remark that she was well beyond everyone else in her thinking and vision for what nursing should be, and how nursing can positively impact the whole community. She was loved and respected by colleagues, co-workers, and patients. Her kind and warm spirit touched all who knew her.

In the spirit and example of Sister Julia, Parkland College and Presence Covenant are co-sponsoring a nursing conference with a local scope and flavor, The Spirit of Nursing Conference: Emerging Topics in Nursing.  Topics at this conference and future conferences will be kept global to appeal to all types of nurses, not just specific disciplines. Topics at the May 20 conference will include: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare, End of Life Decisions, Generations in the Workplace, and Life Skills for the Nurse.

The conference will begin with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. and the conference will end at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Continuing education units (CEUs) available through the conference: 4.

The conference fee is $49, with proceeds supporting the Sister Julia Scholarship Fund at Parkland College.  Advanced registration is required due to limited seating.

To register, or for more information, please click here or call 217/351-2235.

 

Get Into Stress-LESS Week at Parkland!

This week, Phi Theta Kappa is hosting “Stress-Less Week.” We’ve scheduled a variety of events at the campus to help you take the stress off these last few weeks of the fall semester. Please join us if you can for the following events:

Tough-It-Out Tuesday
Tuesday, December 8

  • Martial Arts Demonstration, 12:30 to 1pm,  U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Tug of War*,  1pm, P-Wing gym
    *Gloves and tennis shoes are required to participate in tug of war. We will try to provide a certain number of gloves, but bring your own, just in case.

We’re-Here-for-You Wednesday
Wednesday, December 9

  • Mental Health Awareness Fair, noon to 2pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Throwback Thursday
Thursday, December 10

  • Jigsaw Puzzles and Coloring Books, 10am to noon, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Storytelling,  noon to 1pm , U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 4:30 to 5:30pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Feeling Good Friday
Friday, December 11

  • Therapy Dogs Visit, 9 to 11am, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Massages (free), 11am to 1pm, Gallery Lounge (X Wing)
  • Lunch and Learn: Stress Management Workshop, noon to 1pm, U140 (Free lunches for attendees. They will be given on a first come, first serve basis.)
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 1:30 to 2:30pm in the Student Union (U Wing)

We are also conducting a donation drive for the Cunningham Children’s Home. Due to their limited storage space, they will only accept NEW donations. (No USED donations please.) A full list of accepted donations can be found at their website: http://www.cunninghamhome.org/giving. We have the full wish list posted in the College Center (X Wing by the library stairs) in the far left display case. We will be collecting monetary and physical donations at our events and physical donations ONLY at the donation collection points around campus.

The donation collection points can be found at the following locations:

  • Student Union (U Wing)
  • College Center (X Wing)
  • Natural Sciences department office (L Wing)
  • Fine & Applied Arts department office (C Wing), Social Sciences department office (D Wing)
  • Business & Agri-Business department office (B Wing)
  • Mathematics department office (M Wing)

We would really appreciate your help and support for this donation drive!

New Heart-Rate Tech Helps Teams, Trainers

Parkland College’s new Polar Team Pro heart rate telemetry system contains technology primarily used by professional and collegiate sports teams to track training volume.  Parkland acquired the system when it was released internationally this summer; we were the first to have the system in the United States.

Our Cobras Women’s Soccer team is currently using the system to make sure they are not over- or under-training during their competitive season. But they’re not the only ones benefiting from this new technology. Dalton Swenson, one of our student trainers, explains below.

 

Training Tool. The athlete wears the transmitter during games and competitions, and it records multiple data points for that person. Inside the transmitter is an accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate monitor, and GPS, as well as other technologies. As the athlete trains outdoors, Polar has 13 satellites that look for the signal. When four satellites pick up the signal, the athlete’s position on earth is monitored, as well as her speed of movement, change of direction, etc.

So, the athlete/coach can review the practice/game and see exactly where the athelete was during every second of that session, what their heart rate was at the time, how fast they were moving, etc. All of the data points objectively help tell the athlete how hard the session was for her on that day, and how long she will need to recover from it. It will also give total calories burned during the session so the athlete knows how much food she needs to refuel.

Learning Tool. Our Parkland Kinesiology students are learning the system and are helping the intercollegiate coaching staffs here interpret the data to give practical advice to student athletes on training intensity, training volume, nutrition, and recovery strategies. It gives our students experience with a product that is typically seen with world-class soccer programs (such as our United States women’s team), the NBA, NFL, and Division I football and basketball.

If they want to become a strength and conditioning coach, or work in the growing field of analytics, this technology gives them a huge leg up on the competition. It also aids the personal trainer or physical education instructor who is going to work with a different clientele, but where heart-rate telemetry can be highly effective in aiding the client.

For the regular person, there are inexpensive heart-rate transmitters that an individual could use to get similar information on their own workouts. Obviously they won’t be as fancy or intricate as this system, but they will help you make important training decisions and get a clear understanding of how hard a session really was.

[Chris Warren is director of the Parkland Kinesiology program.]

Black Student SUCCESS: Emotional Intelligence

The term emotional Intelligence describes the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to identify feelings and label them appropriately, and to use that information to guide thinking and behavior.  High or successful emotional intelligence is critical in decision making, in developing and maintaining relationships, and in job performance.

In a Black Student SUCCESS Project workshop late last month, Parkland counselor Joe Omo-Osagie led students in a series of assessments designed to test their emotional self-awareness.  While there weren’t necessarily right or wrong answers, the questions definitely challenged students’ ways of thinking and highlighted areas where they might want to consider making changes.

The most sensitive, enlightened, and self-aware person among us can always use a boost of higher emotional intelligence. Take the short quiz below as an introductory guide to evaluating your own level of emotional intelligence. If you can honestly answer “True” to each statement, you can feel good about having a high degree of emotional intelligence. If you cannot, you might want to consider developing those skills. The payoff lasts a lifetime!

EI QUIZ

  1. I can usually let go of problems, hurt feelings, and anger and move on (self-control):  True or False
  2. I can usually engage in a conversation with someone and interpret that person’s body language signals (empathy):  True or False
  3. I can usually identify my emotions at any given moment  (self-awareness):  True or False
  4. I try to look at situations in a positive light (motivation):  True or False
  5. I can usually deal calmly and sensitively to the emotional displays of others, even if I don’t know all the details  (social competency):  True or False
  6. I can fairly easily admit mistakes and apologize (self-confidence):  True or False

[Donna Tanner-Harold is a counselor in Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center and coordinates Black Student Success Project activities.]

 

T Building Tour: Come Celebrate LEED Smart Design!

Did you know that buildings consume nearly half the energy consumed in the United States—almost as much as industry and all forms of transportation combined? Smart design and technology choices can drastically reduce a building’s energy demand, however, and we have an example of such a building right here on campus.

The Parkhill Applied Technology Center (building T) is the first building on the Parkland campus to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the leading green building rating system in the marketplace. Join us on October 29 at 11 a.m. to see a dedication of the T Building’s LEED plaque, followed by a building tour.

Jeff Johnson from BLDD Architects will lead a tour of the T Building to point out the features that make this a high-performance building. These include:

  • Extensive daylighting (access to natural light), which both lowers energy costs associated with artificial lighting and has been shown to increase worker productivity and raise student test scores
  • High-efficiency lighting to supplement the building’s daylighting scheme
  • A highly efficient geothermal heating system, which uses the naturally tempering thermal characteristics of the earth beneath the building to both heat and cool the building

T Building’s features represent the sort of energy efficiency improvements Parkland will implement over time to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2060 as outlined in the President’s Carbon Commitment. The commitment was signed by President Ramage in 2009.

October is Campus Sustainability Month at Parkland and activities were organized by the Sustainable Campus Committee. This tour is the main event for our final week of activities and focuses on the power of design to support sustainability goals. Look for Parkland’s Sustainability coordinator Thor Peterson from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28 outside the café in the union to learn more about how you can support sustainability activities at Parkland.

EVENT DETAILS
Parkhill Applied Technology Center LEED Dedication Ceremony and Green Building Tour
Date: October 29, 2015
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Building T, main entrance

Celebrate Surgical Technology Week with Us!

Happy National Surgical Technology Week!

This week, we celebrate the profession of surgical technology. Do you know what a surgical technologist is or does in surgery?

We serve as an integral part of the surgical team, standing next to and across from the surgeon during all surgical procedures. We’re either

  • handling the instrumentation and the medications for the patient
  • helping handle tissue, or
  • troubleshooting any thing that may arise.

We are credentialed professionals and vital surgical team members.

Mvc-040In 1979, the very first evening I worked at a large hospital in St. Louis, I experienced a procedure where a patient came in with incredible and life-threatening injuries. While I was overwhelmed, I knew that I had chosen the right career field, because we worked as a team, the surgeon, the assistants, and the nurses. With very little verbal communication, everyone knew what to do.

We have to think on our feet everyday and stay focused on the goal. I love the challenge of always trying to anticipate the surgeon’s moves to be the best surgical technologist. I still enjoy the intensity as well as the gentle care we provide patients in order to produce the best outcomes possible.

So, let’s celebrate the hidden health care team member!
Join us for Open House Mock Operating Rooms this week.

Tuesday 1-3 p.m. and Friday 10-noon in Room L143

Questions? C ontact Carolyn Ragsdale, program director, at cragsdale@parkland.edu.

Why YOU Should Enroll in Group Fitness

Are you just starting an exercise routine?  Maybe you’ve been working out for years.  Group fitness classes offer more than a room full of sweaty classmates and an overly enthusiastic instructor:

  1. Another human being will miss you if you aren’t there, unlike your TV or maybe even your faithful canine companion.  Even if you aren’t at the top of your motivational game, you’ll feed off the energy of others and the time will pass before you know it.
  2. Proper form. While I appreciate Jillian Michaels, she has never once reached through the screen and corrected my form.  In a group class, your instructor will not only demonstrate, but assist in corrections of form to prevent injury and insure you’re working the right muscle groups.
  3. Push it. It’s easier to keep going when you’re winded and worn out if there are others challenging and cheering you.  Instructors can offer modifications to some routines so you’ll keep moving and build strength and endurance.
  4. Fun! You are more likely to stick with a routine if you’re having fun—and how could you not with great instructors and a variety of classes from dance to toning to meditation?  We offer several classes throughout the day and week.  Won’t you join one? Boot Camp, Turbokick, Interval Conditioning, Functional Training, Fit for Life, Group Cycling, Zumba, 2D Cycling, Cored Conditioning, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Flow Yoga, Water Aerobics, Tai Chi, Nia, Keys to Better Balance…it’s all here for you.

Classes begin in September.  See our complete schedule, the 505.

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Everybody Hurts

“Everybody Hurts”…this popular song by R.E.M. echoes the reason most massage therapists have jobs today. Most people have some acute or chronic pain issue during their lifetime which causes them to hurt physically and psychologically.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 27 million people in the United States who have osteoarthritis and 50 million Americans have some form of arthritis that is painful. This pain places limits on daily living and can affect a person’s overall quality of life.

Pain is the body’s main warning symptom of problems within the body. Physical issues are most often the cause, but as holistic practitioners, massage therapists must not neglect the emotional components of a complex pain response. Research shows that people who suffer with chronic pain are also much more likely to be depressed. During massage we can engage the parasympathetic or relaxation response, which will release the neurochemicals serotonin and norepinephrine. The relaxation response initiated by massage can help lessen overall pain.

26965014_mlEssential oils via aromatherapy, music, and meditation have been researched by the National Institute of Health, which show they often provide multiple benefits for short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) pain for many individuals.

Join us on July 18th from 9–4pm for our class Holistic Pain Management.  Holistic modalities are a simple and beneficial way to help support  the body’s  natural healing abilities. Learn about the multiple holistic techniques massage therapists can use to help improve healing and manage pain. This course will give you the tools to prepare natural, plant-based topical therapies, guide your clients through relaxing meditations, and use hands-on techniques for body compresses, acupressure, and other methods that enhance mind/body wellness.

 

 

The End is Here: Smoke-Free Lunch at Parkland College

Have you heard? Parkland College is going tobacco free! Because health is always a reason to throw a party, join us in celebration!

If you have seen “The End is Near” images around campus, then you know a smoke-free campus has been a while in coming. There are many reasons for our campus to go tobacco free, but the greatest reason is to build a healthier campus community!

So now, the end is here! Join us Wednesday, July 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Student Union (U) by the bus stop, and enjoy lunch on us! Bring your friends, too, for free food, music, and lots of information about the reasons and benefits of a smoke-free campus.

Questions? You can reach out to the Wellness Center on campus for more information. You’ll find them inside the Student Life office (next to the big green wall in the Student Union lobby).

Don’t forget!

Smoke-Free Lunch at Parkland College

When: July 1, 2015, 11am–1pm
Where: Patio at the U building circle drive
(In the case of rain, location will be inside the cafeteria)
What: Lunch for the Campus and Community
Why: To celebrate the beginning of the end of tobacco product use on Parkland College’s campus!
Details: Free lunch, music, and information on Parkland College’s newest step toward health, a tobacco-free environment!

Fresh herbs are better, right? 

 

herbs

“Yes, but I’m drowning in basil – HELP!”

Here are some quick tips to get the most flavor out of your culinary herbs in order to enjoy them all year round:

Inside, outside, upside down.  Some herbs are just easier to grow than others.  It’s important to create the most hospitable environment for those finicky herbs on your list.

Timing is everything.  When it’s time to harvest, you want to capture the most optimal flavors.  Some need to be picked early in the morning before the dew dries, while others need to bloom first.

Proceed with caution!  Some herbs have toxic portions.  Make sure you know which ones those are and how to enjoy them safely.

Persevere as you preserve.  You can dry, freeze, or make oils with fresh herbs in order to use later.  The secret is knowing which process to use for each herb.

Does this container make me look flat? Choosing the correct container to store your herbs is essential in preserving the vibrant color and delectable tastes.  Don’t zap the flavor.

Want to learn more about maximizing your herb expertise? Jean Hovde has just the class for you! Sign up now, through Parkland College Community Education.

herb-garden3

 

 

Health Professions Students: Need CPR?

Most likely, if you are a current or potential Parkland Health Professions student, you will need valid CPR certification. Don’t have it yet? Not a problem; Parkland College Business Training can hook you up!

CPR Class Delivery Options
Choose from either our online CPR class with a hands-on skills assessment or our traditional classroom course. Upon successful completion of either class, you will be issued an American Heart Association BLS-Healthcare Provider course-completion card.

 Option 1— Online and Hands-on Skills Session & Test

  1. Complete the “BLS for Healthcare Providers Online part 1” session here and print your certificate of completion. The fee is $22.00 (to be paid online).
  2. Register for one of our hands-on skills sessions here.

 Option 2— Instructor-led and Hands-on Skills Session & Test
Complete a 4-hour traditional instructor-led class, hands-on skills session and skills test with an American Heart Association Instructor to ensure skills proficiency.

Book Purchase (Option 2)
A book is required if you choose to take the instructor-led, 4-hour course option.  The book is additional and must be purchased prior to attending class. Books are available at Business Training, 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign.

Receiving the CPR Card

Typically it takes about 2 to 3 weeks to process. However, if you need proof ASAP, let your instructor know and s/he can issue you a temporary card upon your successful completion of the course.

Lost Cards
You may request a replacement CPR card from the Carle Education office at 217/383-3022.

Upcoming CPR Classes and Fees
Check out the upcoming classes and fees here.

Food Service Sanitation Training Q&A

Business Training receives daily phone calls about registering for the in-demand Food Service Sanitation course.  Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers as well as important information.

  • How long is the class?
    In July 2014, the course became an 8-hour class with exam.
  • How do I re-certify?
    Effective July 1, 2014, food handlers must take an 8-hour Food Service Sanitation course and exam every five years for re-certification.
  • How much does the class cost?
    $149 + $49 for the required book and test.
  • In which languages are the exams available?
    The exam is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Burmese.
  • How do I get my results/certificate?
    If you provided a valid email address on your answer sheet, you’ll receive an email notice when your results are available. Click the link in the email to view your results, complete the required information to create a ServSafe.com User ID, and you can view your results. You can print your certificate by selecting the “Print My Certificate” option under the Student section of www.servsafe.com/ss/foodhandler. Parkland College Business Training will also mail you your results and certificate upon successful completion.  If you do not pass, you will also receive notification via mail.
  • Does my certificate expire?
    Yes. ServSafe Food Handler Certificates expire 3 years after the date of the Assessment was successfully passed.
  • Are their qualifications to take the course?  What will I get after the assessment?
    This course has no official prerequisite and may be completed by any individual that seeks knowledge of basic safe food handling procedures. The ServSafe Food Handler Assessment is designed to gauge the knowledge that has been delivered through the ServSafe Food Handler Course or comparable program. Individuals who receive a ServSafe Food Handler Certificate have successfully completed a Food Handler Course and have basic knowledge of the topics covered in the course.
  • When will my results be available?
    Results are typically available within two weeks after the National Restaurant Association receives the completed Exam Information Form and Answer Sheets sent from your instructor.
  • How do I take the exam if it’s not in my native language?
    If the exam is not available in your native language, you can utilize a native language-to-English dictionary during the exam.
  • When does Parkland College Business Training offer Food Service Sanitation courses?
    Click here to see our most current course offerings or call 217/351-2235.

Sign Up for Summer Fitness— Fun & a Brain Boost!

One of the best ways to get mentally sharp for summer and fall classes is to  exercise! According to Scientific American, AARP, and other sources, regular exercise boosts your mind by keeping your brain, heart, lungs, and muscles at high performance. Exercise also improves your mood and helps you handle mental tasks with greater ease.

So why not come back to Parkland this summer for low-cost exercise classes that keep your brain and body fit? Here are a few you’ll enjoy:

Five reasons to sign up for Core & More this summer:
1. Tone your tummy for swimsuit season!
2. Strengthen and stretch your back for gardening and yard work!
3. Improve your balance for safer walking, hiking, and outdoor activities!
4. Learn to stabilize your torso for better performance at your softball games (or be more comfortable sitting on those hard bleachers)!
5. Practice good posture for selfies and vacation photos!
Mondays @ 5:30pm

 

Fit For LifeFitness2
It’s more than an exercise class…it’s practice for daily living! Strengthen your muscles for lifting and playing with grandchildren, improve flexibility for housework or yard work, improve balance for fall prevention. And do it to fun, familiar music with friendly classmates!
Tuesdays @ 5:30pm

 

Zumba GolFitness1d
“I don’t have any rhythm!”
“I don’t know how to dance!”
“I can’t keep up with the instructor!”
Not a problem with Zumba Gold! As long as you like to move (even if you think you’re not any good at it) and enjoy fun international music, you can do this low-impact version of the popular dance exercise program! There’s no right or wrong, no complicated steps to memorize, no judgment! Join the party!
Mondays @ 9:30am or Wednesdays @ 5:30pm

For more information, http://www.parkland.edu/communityed
Call Community Education at 217/353-2055 to register today!

Breathe in the Exciting Field of Respiratory Therapy

Looking to begin a health career? There’s a special member of the interdisciplinary team of heath care professionals you may not be aware of…until now.

On Friday, April 10, the Parkland Respiratory Therapy Program invites you to discover the exciting and fulfilling field of respiratory care. During their Poster Session, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Flag Lounge, Respiratory Therapy students will showcase their profession and training, with posters focusing on respiratory disease and various treatment modalities.

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Also known as “the lung specialists”,  respiratory therapists are an important part of the team that treats and manages the health of acutely ill patients experiencing breathing problems as well as patients living with chronic lung disease. You will find respiratory therapists working in hospitals as well as outpatient health care settings such as home care, pulmonary clinics, sleep labs, pulmonary rehabs, and extended care facilities.

The job outlook for respiratory therapists is good and is expected to have greater than average growth over the next decade. Visit http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm to learn more about the occupational outlook for this valuable field.

Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and prepares you to become an expert in assessing, treating, and educating patients who have acute and/or chronic lung disease. As a student, you will find our program engages you with classroom, online, lab, and clinical activities.  You will attend hospital clinical rotations that introduce you to the role and duties of the respiratory therapist in areas such as intensive care, neonatal care, and emergency care.

Besides hospitals, you will rotate through several ‘care’ areas of respiratory therapy, including home care, pulmonary rehabilitation, sleep lab, cardiac interventions, pulmonary function testing, and pulmonary physician rotations. You will also earn certificates of completion for Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support while in the program. Upon graduation, you will earn an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) and be registry-eligible to sit for national board exams that authorize you as a certified or registered respiratory therapist.

Drop by our poster presentation; students and instructors of the program will be happy to educate and advise you on this interesting career. Application procedures and up-to-date information are available at here or by contacting Program Director Midge Seim at 217/351-2296 or mseim@parkland.edu.

 

Sexual Assault: “It’s On Us” to Start Talking

College is a place to learn, right? Well, what if the topics we begin to learn about make us feel uncomfortable? Is it okay to ignore those topics? Or should we press on and educate ourselves by learning why those topics make us uncomfortable?

Like many colleges across the United States, Parkland College has decided that the topic of sexual assault is one we can no longer ignore—in our classrooms or other social places. Last September, President Obama and the White House launched the It’s On Us campaign, asking Americans to pledge the following:

To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

This pledge is a call to action for men and women at Parkland not to be bystanders to sexual assault in our community.

On January 28 at noon, Student Life is bringing a free, interactive improv show to the Parkland Theatre. Sex Signals uses humor and audience participation to educate us on what can lead to sexual assault and how our actions can improve our relationships.

Sex-Signals-Flyer-e1380055525101-294x300Please plan on attending the show to begin this important conversation at Parkland College. If you would like to sign the pledge, go to: http://itsonus.org

Boot Camp with Parkland College Community Education

Boot Camp with Community Education
Boot Camp with Community Education

I love to work out early in the morning. The best thing about it is that anything can happen during the day, and it is not going to get in the way of you getting your daily dose of exercise because you have already done it.

Parkland College offers a Boot Camp class through Community Education. It meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m. with instructor Peg Olson. I have had the opportunity to fill in for Peg on occasion, and it is a great group of people who are very welcoming to newcomers.

Student Lynda Ramirez has taken many exercise classes with Parkland College, and she loves Boot Camp. Here’s what Lynda had to say about the Boot Camp class:

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Boot Camp had always intrigued me, but I didn’t think I was good enough to try it out. I met someone who was taking the class and found the courage to try it. That was more than a year ago! I regret that it took so long to find the courage, and wish that I had started a long time ago.

Boot Camp has something to offer everyone, no matter what the age, gender, fitness level or lack of fitness. Each person can work at their own ability level and put as much or as little into as they want; however, Peg Olson is able to bring out the best in everyone. The class is challenging for everyone, from the P90X guy to the person working out for the first time. Peg teaches modifications for every activity so that everyone can participate.

Boot Camp covers all types of fitness activities, both strength and cardio. Peg focuses on activities that incorporate as many muscle groups as possible. We don’t just do squats and lunges; we do them with a body bar held out in front of us. We don’t just run around the gym; we do it holding a weight over our heads. We don’t just do sit-ups; we do them with our feet up in the air holding a ball between our ankles. Peg never fails to find a way to make an activity more challenging!

I know that Boot Camp has made me a better person in many ways. I have made many friends and worked harder than I ever dreamed I could. At the age of almost 62, I can truly say that I am fitter and healthier than ever before. I have achieved goals that I didn’t think were possible. I will keep coming back every semester as long as I can. Fitness is important to every person, but I can attest that the older you get the more important it is. Exercise in the “second half” of life is no longer an option — it is a job. I want to be in the same wonderful shape as my mother who is 88 years old and walked eight miles with me last week.

Boot Camp is more than an exercise class. It is a family. The camaraderie is a major reason to keep coming back. New people are welcomed every semester and quickly made to feel part of the group. Everyone is encouraging and motivating. We celebrate each other’s successes. No one is more motivating and encouraging than Peg.

Boot Camp is a wonderful way to start the day. I feel like I accomplish more before 7 a.m. than a lot of people do in a day or even a week! I sometimes dread getting out of bed, but nothing beats the great feeling of making it through another class and the pride that I feel.

The next session of Boot Camp starts February 3, 2015. Registration is open now; call 217/353-2055.

Health Professions: A Career for You?

Have you ever considered a future in health professions? For that matter, do you even know what we mean by health professions here at Parkland? Sometimes we throw terms around and expect everyone to know what we are talking about—that is especially true in health professions! We offer so many opportunities here at Parkland to work in the health care field. Some programs take only one semester while others offer full two-year degrees.

For example, our Nurse Assistant program and our Emergency Medical Technician Basic program are each only one semester long! Both of these professions provide students a great opportunity to work in a health care field and decide if they want to proceed further or do something different—all while being paid!

Maybe your passion is for animals instead of people? I get phone calls on a regular basis from veterinary clinics asking about our Veterinary Technology students. Our program is nationally known for excellence, and many places want to hire our graduates. When you complete our two-year Vet Tech program, you will have earned an associate degree and be ready to take the national board exam.

Other Health Professions options here at Parkland include one-year certificate programs. So what can you complete in one year? You could become a Medical Office Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Massage Therapist, or a Paramedic.

What about other two-year degrees? We offer degrees in Dental Hygiene, Registered Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Surgical Technology. Students may also receive two-year associate degrees in Massage Therapy and in Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic).

The healthcare industry continues to experience employment growth, and this growth is anticipated to continue for many more years. It is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. I’d love to tell you more about each of our programs…better yet, come our Open House this Friday, November 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at our main campus and also at our H wing on Mattis Ave. You can learn more about each program and speak to the faculty and students for firsthand experience!

What Makes “SADHA” So Special?

[SADHA President Mary Liesse and members of the Parkland Dental Hygiene program would like to share with you a little about what they do at Parkland and for its communities.]

We love SADHA!

SADHA stands for the Student American Dental Hygiene Association. As Parkland College Dental Hygiene students and proud members of SADHA, we try to have active community involvement by volunteering with the Smile Healthy organization and Frances Nelson Dental Center and participating in community activities. What we do to help others is pretty rewarding.

SADHA raises money every year to host a free clinic day. This year, we raced in the Car X Crazy K, which consisted of a 5K obstacle course; we raised $6,300 and donated more than half of it to our charity of choice, the Smile Healthy/Frances Nelson Dental Center. Our next free clinic day will be held April 11, 2015, and treatment we offer to our Parkland patients includes, fillings, extractions, and some tooth replacement with mouth flippers. Many dentists, Carle Oral Surgery employees, nurses, Regal Dental Laboratory technicians, students, and dental hygienists also volunteer their time and skills to help during this event.

SADHA also sponsors a local family in need for Christmas. We help make their Christmas wishes come true by filling their Christmas list!

Our community involvement is just one real-world component in Parkland’s two-year Dental Hygiene program. The program also features a clinic on campus, where Dental Hygiene students fully assess and clean a patient’s mouth.  Cleanings are $10 and include an oral cancer screening, blood pressure screening, medical history review, full intra-oral and extra-oral assessment, caries detection, nutritional counseling, X-rays, deep and regular cleanings, and an exam by our dentist. We also sell professional strength Crest White Strips for $35 and electric toothbrushes ranging in price from $20 to $85. 

We are looking for patients who haven’t had their teeth cleaned in five years or more. Appointments are about three hours long, and some patients may require more than one appointment.  Our clinic phone number is 217/351-2221 to make an appointment for a cleaning.

7 Reasons to Take Zumba at Parkland

Zumba  ParklandJoin the Zumba dance party at Parkland! Here’s a fun way to get a great workout and meet new people. Think it’s not for you? Think again! Here are seven good reasons to join us!

  1. Each Zumba workout contains a mix of different music styles: Salsa, merengue, hip-hop, cumbia, bachata, samba, cha cha, and more.
  2. You don’t have to worry about being a good dancer. Just do your best and have fun!
  3. I keep the songs in the class playlist for 6-8 weeks. As you attend more classes, you will get practice and feel more comfortable with the choreography.
  4. Zumba burns 310 – 465 calories in a 60-minute class. If you move less, you burn less. If you move more, you burn more.
  5. My Zumba class can be easily modified to have no jumping or fast turns. There are always people who enjoy low-impact Zumba in my Parkland class.
  6. I add a new song each week to keep it fresh. I always give tips or do a preview of new songs.
  7. We have space in Zumba at Parkland College for YOU!

Zumba is a noncredit class that meets on Mondays from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Our next session for fall starts October 27 and ends December 8.  Call Community Education to register: 217/353-2055.
If you want more information, you can visit my Zumba page. You can also visit the official Zumba website for information.  See you soon!

Lisa Hoppe, Instructor