Week promotes women’s health

The spotlight was on women this week, as the Minority Women in Medicine sponsored Women’s Health Awareness Week [WHAW], aimed at raising women’s awareness of their physical and mental health.

“I like that we have activities like this on campus. I think women need to know more about their health,” Mayline Limia, senior, said. “With the amount of stress in society for women, we need something or someone to turn to.”

WHAW kicked off on Monday with a speech and ribbon-cutting ceremony by President Donna E. Shalala, as well as a carnival with free food and games. The positive feedback from students has already motivated organizers to plan the event for next year.

“Because this is the first year that any week of this nature has occurred, our main goal was simply to raise awareness for women’s health,” Kara Brown, WHAW fundraising chair, said. “We also wanted to test the waters, so to speak, and allow this to be a learning experience for us all – that way we can improve next year’s WHAW.”

Activities for the week also included a Mental Health Movie Night at Hecht on Tuesday night, where Girl Interrupted was shown, followed by a discussion led by the Department of Psychology.

“From the range of activities we presented – physical fitness assessment to Mental Health Movie Night – I hope all women realize that we are a complex combination of all these aspects, and we need to nurture each of them to be truly healthy,” Priyanka Handa, WHAW chair, said.

WHAW is collecting toiletries today UC Breezeway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help abused women in South Florida. The items have been collected throughout the week in various locations on campus, including the residential colleges and administrative buildings. Tomorrow, volunteers will take a trip to the Victim Services Center of Miami to donate toiletries and train to volunteer at the Center.

For more information about WHAW, contact Priyanka Handa at p.handa@umiami.edu.

Vanessa Krause can be contacted at v.krause@umiami.edu.