Focus on Health Care | Marching Onward ...
We noted in our last newsletter that the “weather has been challenging.” We then made what we are sorry to now note was a false promise that “the temperature will soon get warmer.” Little did we know that this past month we would be challenged with record snowfalls and low temperatures!
Winters such as these can certainly cause the blues, and may even precipitate mood disorders. What can be done to shake the blues? Last month, we noted that consumption of some “super foods” could help to boost mood. Engaging in regular exercise also can be a powerful mood booster. In fact, in a recent Mayo Clinic eNewsletter it was noted that 30 minutes of daily exercise may make you feel happier and more relaxed. In addition, other benefits of regular exercise may include that:
- You may lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight,
- You may boost your muscle strength and endurance,
- You may sleep better,
- Your sex drive may improve, overall,
- Your cholesterol and triglyceride levels should improve, meaning you will have lesser odds of developing diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis (causing strokes and heart attacks), and many cancers, and
- Your social life may improve, if you exercise with friends and family members.
In this month’s newsletter, we highlight our upcoming spring events. We are particularly delighted to announce that our Spring Lecture will be delivered by Stephen Lewis, internationally lauded humanitarian, former United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and author of the bestseller Race Against Time. Please save the date for what promises to be an unforgettable event on March 18, 7:30 p.m., in Foy Concert Hall. We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Fran Quigley, clinical professor ofl law at Indiana University School of Law, will deliver a lecture on health activism When the Best Medicine is an Advocate, on Monday April 14, at 7 p.m.
We continue to be inspired by the work of our students, and are pleased to profile the work of senior Rebecca Stenger, who is studying the causes and effects of local food deserts. We are also delighted to profile several Brain Awareness events this month hosted by the local Lehigh Valley Society for Neuroscience.
Dr. Virginia Adams O’Connell
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Dr. Kerry H. Cheever
Professor and Chairperson, Department of Nursing
Co-directors of the Health Care Center of Investigation
Celebrated UN Humanitarian Stephen Lewis to Speak at Moravian on March 18
Stephen Lewis, a celebrated humanitarian and former United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa will speak at Moravian College on Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Hall. Race Against Time: An Evening with Stephen Lewis is part of the Health Care | In Focus program at Moravian.
Lewis is one of Canada’s most influential commentators on social affairs, international development, and human rights. He researches his talks with obsessive care, enlivens them with personal anecdotes, and is both passionate and political. He is the board chair of the Stephen Lewis Foundation; a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University; the co-founder and co-director of AIDS-Free World in the United States; and the former UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa. He is coming to Moravian College to speak to our community about his life work which addresses all four of our IN FOCUS topics.
Lewis is a senior fellow of the Enough Project. He is an immediate past member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Emeritus Board Member of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He served as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law.
Lewis was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006. From 1995 to 1999, he was Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization’s global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, he was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. From 1970-1978, Lewis was leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, during which time he became leader of the Official Opposition.
Lewis is the author of the bestselling book Race Against Time. He holds 35 honorary degrees from Canadian universities, as well as honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins University in the United States. In 2003, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada. In 2007, King Letsie III, monarch of the Kingdom of Lesotho invested him as Knight Commander of the Most Dignified Order of Moshoeshoe. The order is named for the founder of Lesotho; the knighthood is the country’s highest honor. In 2012, Lewis was an inaugural recipient of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Please plan to join us for what will unquestionably be an unforgettable evening.
When the Best Medicine is an Advocate
Fran Quigley, clinical professor of law, teaching in the Health and Human Rights Clinic of the Indiana University School of Law, will present, “When the Best Medicine is an Advocate,” at Moravian on Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m.
Quigley is the author of the book Walking Together, Walking Far: How a U.S. and African Medical School Partnership Is Winning the Fight Against the HIV/AIDS Pandemic (Indiana University Press, 2009), the forthcoming book How Human Rights Can Build Haiti: The Lawyers, the Activists, and the Grassroots Movement (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014), and a number of academic journal articles on social justice and human rights. He has also served as the executive director of ACLU of Indiana and as a staff attorney with Indiana Legal Services.
His talk will tie in the historic activism that led to governments providing international funding to treat HIV in places like Kenya, the advocacy that social workers and lawyers do at the retail level for low-income health care patients in the .U.S as well as in places like Kenya (partnering with physicians to address the so-called social determinants of health, such as safe housing, access to health insurance, freedom from domestic violence, etc.), and the macro-level advocacy for cholera victims in Haiti.
Using Haiti as an example, Dr. Quigley will discuss how Haitian human rights lawyers originally responded to the UN-triggered cholera epidemic by thinking that this was a problem for physicians. But advocates soon realized that you needed more than medicine to treat the epidemic. Now, there is both street-level activism in Haiti and a global campaign that aims for a long-needed modern water treatment system in the country that will help prevent future epidemics as well as provide a necessary component—access to clean water—that all human communities need.
Student Highlight: Rebecca Stenger, Focus on Food Access
Throughout this IN FOCUS year, we have spent some time discussing how the most basic elements of our social environment can impact human health. In particular, we have focused on how food quality, exercise and stress management can significantly impact both our physical and mental health. As part of our continuing discussion, we want to highlight the work of one of our students, Rebecca Stenger.
A Moravian College senior and a major in Environmental Health Sciences, Rebecca is currently completing an independent study with Dr. Sonia Aziz from the Department of Economics and Business entitled "Study on Food Access Issues." As part of the focus of her major, Rebecca has been interested in learning about how any environment affects the health of the people who inhabit it. For this work, she wanted to focus on urban environments. Creating this study on food access developed after she realized that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, home to Moravian College, itself contains an area designated as a food desert. The residents of this section of Bethlehem face access barriers in their attempt to make healthy food choices.
In her study, she will use data collected from residents to analyze food purchase choices and hopes to identify factors that significantly affect healthy food choices. She hopes to be able to share her findings with the wider college community as well as with local organizations in Bethlehem that try to increase and improve food access for the city’s poorest residents. Rebecca hopes to start building the framework that she will use to continue working after graduation in the Bethlehem community to improve the health and well-being of the residents of urban environments. Rebecca’s work provides a wonderful example of how academic pursuits can help us identify ways to serve those in need and improve the human condition.
Community Service Opportunities
Students should contact Community Service to get involved in volunteer work in the community. Opportunities for students to volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, local schools, and other community organizations are organized through the Center for Leadership and Service. To learn more, click here.