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School of Public Health inspires walkers to circle Veterans Memorial Stadium 3 times

Jackson State University’s School of Public Health is taking steps to make healthy living an important part of the city’s goals. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

Jackson State University’s School of Public Health is taking steps to help the city reach its goals for healthy living. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

Walkers move their way toward a healthier life as they complete their challenge. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

Walkers move their way toward a healthier life as they complete their challenge. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

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At least 100 participants aiming to stay fit walked three times around the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium recently to celebrate Public Health Week at an event sponsored by JSU’s School of Public Health and the Mississippi State Department of Health.

A health advocate soars and gets into the rhythm of the beat provided by the DJ. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

A health advocate soars and gets into the rhythm of the beat provided by the DJ. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

Helping to rally participants were Dr. William “Bill” Cissell, executive assistant to the dean and director of JSU’s Assessment and Accreditation, and Dr. Yalanda Barner, director of marketing and field placement.

Resolving health issues

During the event, other faculty and staff members at Mississippi’s only School of Public Health (SPH) helped distribute information about its degree programs. They say its mission is to provide “a learning environment that supports interdisciplinary community, development of professional public health concepts, values and the resolution of health issues.”

Also, officials say SPH prepares students to become “outstanding leaders and practitioners in professional careers in public health, healthcare administration, speech language pathology and audiology.”

During the Public Health Walk, vendors assembled to share information to help communities become more informed about available services. 

Adrianna Smith works with Life of Mississippi, a nonprofit empowerment program designed to help people with significant disabilities experience independent living. The organization has enhanced the lives of more than 35,000 individuals since 1993.

Perform daily exercises

Smith wants people to “live your best life and make a great life.” So, she tells people that “whatever you can do and wherever you are physically in your wellness, you can start there and keep going. We promote opportunities for wellness and recreation for everyone.”

Before the health walk began, Lamar Jones of Anytime Fitness coached participants through stretching sessions. “We’re advocating for more community involvement and getting people active and heart-healthy,” he said. “We want people to develop a consistent workout program.” He urges individuals to exercise at least 30 minutes to an hour a day.

Dr. Dominika Parry, president and CEO of 2°C Mississippi, addressed climate change as a matter of public health and advocates keeping Mississippi at 2 degrees Celsius. “The nonprofit aims specifically to provide accurate scientific education for Mississippians at any level. We do presentations to adults and groups. Our latest big effort is educating schoolchildren. We wrote a climate science curriculum, which is fully aligned with the newest standards from the Mississippi Department of Education.”

She said students are quizzed about matters such as what happens when sea levels rise, and what’s the effect of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Cissell and Barner described the stadium walk as a great way to promote public health and fitness.

For more information about SPH’s academic programs, visit JSU’s School of Public Health.

SPH colleagues join other participants strolling around the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

SPH colleagues join other participants strolling around the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

After three trips around the stadium, the jubilation was obvious for this participant. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

After three trips around the stadium, the jubilation was obvious for this participant. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)

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Several vendors offered advice to the crowd on how to keep up with their physical activities. (Photo by L.A. Warren/JSU)