President Hugine to launch “President's Health Initiative"

Friday, October 06, 2006

Orangeburg –On this Friday, October 6, SC State President Andrew Hugine Jr. will lead the University community in an initiative focused on eliminating health disparities affecting minorities.

“Currently, 40% of African Americans in the state are hypertensive, 61% of the state’s population is obese and SC ranks ninth in the nation for diabetes,” said the president.

With those troubling statistics in mind, Dr. Hugine decided to create the President’s Health Initiative to raise awareness and to empower the University community to make healthy choices. The program will incorporate the health status of undergraduate students, faculty and staff of SC State into initiatives that transform University policy as it relates to wellness, research and community outreach.

The official launch of Dr. Hugine’s President’s Health Initiative (PHI) will be held on Friday, Oct. 6, 2006, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the SC State Student Center Plaza. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Launch activities will be broadcast live on SC State’s WSSB 90.3 FM.

The PHI launch features several health-focused activities, including DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension) diet food sampling; DASH Diet Cookbook; Tai Chi Chuan stress reduction and health maintenance demonstrations; chair aerobics exercises; blood pressure screening; clinical research unit tours; Walk Your Health club registrations; and a health trivia contest.

The PHI launch activities will be preceded by a Health Disparities Lecture Series featuring keynote speaker Dr. Derrick C. Tabor, national program director of Project EXPORT at the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities in Bethesda, Md. The lecture will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the 1890 Research and Extension Auditorium. This event is also free and the public is invited to attend.

Throughout the year, faculty, staff and undergraduate students will participate in a number of PHI initiatives, including a walking club; DASH eating plan; fitness boot camps; Bulldog Trail; Health Disparities Lecture Series; walks with President Hugine; health-focused listening sessions; national, state and regional summits on health disparities; and PHI Research Fellows

PHI is sponsored by the EXPORT Center on Metabolic Syndrome and Minority Health – a collaborative partnership between SC State and the Medical University of South Carolina created to promote healthy lifestyle changes. The goal of Project EXPORT is to eliminate health disparities, particularly hypertension, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and obesity (H3O) in communities statewide by building sustainable collaborative partnerships. Visit the EXPORT Center online at http://export.musc.edu.