University Reaches Out to Community with Health and Wellness Week

Health and Wellness Week logo

In a tangible display of community building, the university hosted its inaugural Health and Wellness Week in mid-March, drawing more than 200 people to campus for 5K and 10K runs, free behavioral, exercise and nutrition classes, and a pool party for children with special needs.

Sponsored by the university’s School of Physical Therapy and Office of the President, the event served a twofold purpose: raise awareness of the healthcare needs in Yamhill County communities and offer resources and activities to address those needs.

“It was very practical, very hands-on,” says Tyler Cuddeford, director of the university’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. “People were shown how to cook more healthy meals, instructed on how to manage back pain and educated on effective exercise programs. Other families spent time in the pool with their kids with special needs. It was enormously successful.”

The event was such a success that plans call to bring it back in 2018 and perhaps expand it. “It’s important not only from a community-building standpoint, but to encourage people to live more healthy lives,” Cuddeford says. “Many of the health-related challenges we face in our county – such as the fact 62.2 percent of our adults are considered ‘overweight’ or ‘obese’ – are preventable and can be reversed.”

Physical Therapy session during the Health and Wellness Week

The week culminated with a “Beat Baker” 5K run that drew nearly 50 runners. The 10 runners who crossed the finish line ahead of university president Robin Baker were rewarded with a bumper sticker to commemorate the accomplishment.

Sponsors included Hopp Insurance, Newberg Body and Paint, Country Financial, Virginia Garcia, Impact Printing, PT Northwest, Therapeutic Associates, Pacific West Bank, Friendsview Retirement Community, Oregon Dance Academy and Cliff Bar. All told, $5,000 was raised to cover the cost of the events.