Wednesday, April 02, 2008

UIS celebrates Health Awareness Day

By Courtney Westlake

The campus community was able to get their health in check on Wednesday, April 2 during Health Awareness Day at UIS.

There were several speakers throughout the day in PAC room F. Cindy Ladage kicked off the event with a presentation about radon, and then Drs. Jim Bonacum, Hua Chen and Michael Lemke conducted a program about the Emiquon Project at 12 p.m. Finally, Dr. William Warren spoke about global warming and public health.

"Emiquon is one of the largest restoration projects in this country," Lemke said during his presentation. "Restoration ecology is not as simple as it might sound. You can't just add water into lakes and expect them to be the same. There are a lot of things that go into the study and restoration of these areas."

After Lemke explained the work going on at Emiquon (to read more, go here), Chen discussed the implications of the restoration on the climate, and Bonacum added perspectives about overall climate change.

During her presentation, Ladage, from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, spoke about what radon is and why residents should be concerned about radon present in their homes. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that enters the home through any opening between the building and the soil, Ladage said.

"The only way to tell if you have high levels of radon is to test for it," she said. "Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking; it's a proven carcinogen."

There was also a variety of health information on topics such as smoking cessation, back care, skin care and more offered throughout the event, which lasted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Area healthcare facilities set up booths for free health screenings, including cholesterol and blood sugar, vision, bone density and stress.