Event highlights global and national health care

By Gianna Shikitino
November 21, 2008

Thirty posters made by Cabrini students to provide awareness on health care and social justice issues were displayed in the Grace Hall Boardroom on Thursday, Nov. 13.

This event was part of Cabrini Day, called “Global and National Health Care Issues Across the Disciplines.”

Dr. Beverly Bryde, associate professor of education, was in charge of organizing the event. “This year, we decided to go with poster sessions,” Bryde said. “There are 30 posters in all and each year we have a different theme for Cabrini Day.”

Students, faculty and staff walked by each poster to hear about the topics that were researched by the groups who participated.

“There is a nursing shortage all around the world, especially in the United States,” Courtney Abel, freshman chemistry and secondary education major, said. Abel and her group conducted a poster on this shortage.

One point on the poster stated, “Estimates show that over 30 states in the U.S. currently suffer from a shortage of nurses to provide care for patients, and by that by the year of 2020 more than 40 states will suffer from shortage.”

The shortage is occurring “mainly because the nursing programs are low funded,” Ashton Kazlo, freshman biology and pre- medical major, said.

“Money back for dropping pounds,” a poster made by Jennifer Burke, Kristin Comly, Anne Konicki, Kimberly Prigge and Collette Walsh for exercise science and health promotion informed people how some insurance companies offer reimbursements.

The five students said the reason insurance companies give rebates for weight loss is that by losing weight, a patient lowers their risk for many diseases and health problems. As a result of lowering their risks, the health insurance company will pay less for health care treatment.

One insurance company, Cigna, offers a healthy rewards discount program which patients receive up to 60 percent discounts on products and services.

Another poster titled “Tanorexia,” listed the surprising addiction to tanning and its health risks. “We didn’t realize how important this issue is until we researched it,” Shannon Martinenza, freshman biology major, said.

“It was shocking that how many people tanned and thought it was OK. The media is a huge contribution to why people think they need to be tan,” Martinenza said.

The research stated that The American Medical Association is hoping to make tanning machines off limits for anyone under the age of 18, which will most likely change the statistics of the over two million teens who use tanning salons yearly.

“HIV/AIDS in Prison,” a poster made by Megan Wickenheiser and Dora Peters showed the epidemic of the inmates affected by the disease.

“We chose this topic on our own because in prison, the number of those who are HIV positive is four times higher than people out of prison,” Wickenheiser said. “It’s becoming a social issue, mainly because of the lack of prison policies.”

Only 16 states test inmates, and one in three deaths are due to AIDS in prison. Eight percent of all incoming inmates test positive for HIV, but currently no city or county jail tests inmates regularly or at all.

A major issue that many people are talking about is school inequity between poor city schools and rich suburban schools. A poster titled, “Health Care in Schools,” listed the difficulties of having health care in schools throughout the United States.

“It’s important because not all health care in school is equal,” Lindsay Runyen, junior history secondary education major, said. “Schools with more funding are able to cover students, staff and their nurses full-time.”

Fifty-three million students are enrolled in public schools, and 20 million have chronic health conditions. The school nurses are usually primary care providers that children see on a regular basis.

A large number of Cabrini community members in the Grace Hall Boardroom were eagerly seeking information on the research for the first event of Cabrini Day.

Gianna Shikitino

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