Benefits and Wellness Fair offers goodies and health services

Laurel Kraus, Intern Reporter

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The annual Benefits and Wellness Fair will take place at the Recreation Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

The fair is an opportunity for students to explore holistic approaches toward their health through mingling with different providers and companies.

“It is the one time of year where we have businesses, organizations and nonprofits all coming together in one place for faculty, staff and students to ask questions and make changes in regards to their health,” said Stephanie Willis, coordinator of wellness and and education outreach.

Among the vendors will be multiple chiropractic groups offering free assessments, the Oakland University Credit Union to help with financial planning and opening accounts and Chickpea and Bean to educate about plant-based diets.

“One of the things I’m really excited about is that the fire department is coming to demonstrate how to do hands-only CPR with dummies,” Willis said. “They’re always involved in all of our stuff, and they do a great job.”

Orangetheory Fitness will also be attending, along with vendors from The Essential Oil Company, massage therapy and Painting with a Twist, which will include demonstrations.

“Most of these places come with giveaways, whether it’s coupons or little things here and there,” Willis said. “Trader Joe’s is coming, and I know they always do samples of their seasonal foods, so you can expect to definitely walk away with a bag of stuff.”

The Visiting Nurses Association will also be present to give flu shots. These will be free, provided attendees’ insurance falls in the wide range of accepted insurance plans.

In the past, there have been as many as 80 vendors at this event. However, this year OU decided to limit the number to 45.

“Instead of quantity, we’re going for quality,” said Wellness Graduate Assistant Kelsey Zuchowicz. “So, we wanted to make sure that we brought in vendors that we felt were the most beneficial for the students, faculty and staff to have, as well as just really paring down what the offerings are to best fit our needs here.”

Although the fair was initially created for university faculty and staff with the purpose of coinciding with open enrollment, which is when employees are able to make changes to their benefits plans, the event has been extended to the entire campus community in recent years.

The event is free and there is no need to RSVP, but there will be a sign-in station so the Rec Center can record the number of attendees.

Last year, the fair drew around 750 attendees, encouraging the Rec Center to set a goal of 1,000 for the Benefits and Wellness Fair of 2016.

For more information, contact Stephanie Willis at (248) 370-4968 or [email protected].