BeneFest assists KSU employees

Emily Nordquist

While students brushed up on safe ways to have fun over Spring Break, Kent State faculty and staff prepared for a trip to “Destination Wellness” yesterday.

BeneFest 2006 was held yesterday in the Student Center Ballroom to promote wellness and healt-risk prevention for all Kent State employees, faculty and administration.

Those who attended had the opportunity to participate in a health screening and assessment. The screening checked height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, resting heart rate and cholesterol/HDL/glucose levels.

“This is quite the opportunity to touch base with health care providers and ask questions,” human resources employee Truella Harper said. “This also gives us the chance to see all of the services that Kent State provides.”

Kim Hauge, assistant manager of university benefits, said BeneFest usually is a popular event among staff, drawing a crowd of about 1,000 people in past years.

BeneFest presented healthy options for the Kent State staff through representation from organizations such as Curves, the Department of Public Safety and Social Security. All of the tables offered wellness promotion in one of BeneFest’s seven key areas – family, physical, mental, social, leisure, retirement and financial.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center had demonstrations of some of its offered classes, such as yoga and pilates.

Jason McDaniel, buildings and grounds employee, created artwork for the event, and Residence Services employee Don M. Grub provided all of the music for the event. Dining Services was on hand to provide healthy snacks.

Those employees who attended had the chance to register to win prizes such as an iPod shuffle, a free one-year parking permit from Parking Services or a weekend getaway to Geneva State Park.

If Kent State staff missed yesterday’s event, they may take advantage of the health screenings at one of several other locations available from now until April 13. This schedule is available at

“Employees don’t usually take the time to take care of themselves. This way we are bringing the screenings to them,” Hauge said.

Also, results from the screenings only take about 10 minutes, which seems easier than waiting a few days to hear from a physician, Hauge said.

BeneFest was the official launching of OneWellU, a new workplace wellness program interested in ongoing assistance to employees and their families in healthier life changes.

Employees covered by the university-sponsored health plans have the chance to receive a $50 wellness incentive for participating in the health risk assessment online.

Employees who are not covered by university-sponsored health care still are welcome to participate in the screenings, but it costs $49 at one of the other screening locations. They also are ineligible to receive the wellness incentive.

For more information regarding the health screenings, contact the benefits office at (330) 672-3107.

Contact student life reporter Emily Nordquist at [email protected].