Illustration by Carlo Patricio P. FrancoAN ESTIMATED 1,600 nursing students temporarily hanged their scrub suits and went off-duty to set the UST record for the biggest gathering to promote “wellness” last November 20 at the Plaza Mayor.

“The College of Nursing actually went beyond the 1,000 target number of participants,” College of Nursing spokesman Gio de Guzman told the Varsitarian.

As aspiring heath professionals, nursing students should be at the forefront of promoting fitness among members of the Thomasian community, he said.

Students completing duty hours in delivery rooms, operating rooms, and affiliated hospitals like the National Center for Mental Health were not required to attend the event.

Faculty members, support staff, and others also participated.

Carmen Molina, 69, a regular participant of UST’s Wellness Program and former Conservatory of Music faculty member, said that taking care of one’s health is vital to prevent complications and diseases.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and doing exercise every afternoon makes me feel healthy,” said Molina.

The fitness activity which is being facilitated by the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics is one of the activities of the “USTeps to Wellness: Fit at 400!” project of the UST Health Service.

Dr. Maria Salve Olalia, UST Health Service director, said the wellness program with simultaneous lectures on smoking, stress and anger management, drug abuse, sexually-transmitted infections, dengue, social graces and wardrobe options, alcoholism, immunization, proper diet, proper exercise, disaster preparedness, and road safety, is specifically designed for Thomasian students.

The lectures are conducted with the help of corporate partners such as Pfizer, Avon Philippines, Nestle Philippines, Smart Communications, Creative Bakers, Glaxo Smith Kline and Roche, and the Department of Health and Red Cross. Aura Marie P. Dagcutan

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