February 2020, News & Features

February is ‘Heart Health Month’ at SAU

#SafeFalcons, the peer health educator program at Saint Augustine’s University, is commemorating February as American Heart Health Month with engaging and fun events.

During the SAU vs FSU basketball home games on Feb. 1, students participated in a half-court shot contest to win a college essentials basket with a retail value of $125. The men’s and women’s basketball team wore red terry cloth wristbands to support the cause. The peer health educators also hosted an informational table in Emery Gym’s lobby where they raised awareness on heart health, ways to prevent heart diseases, and healthy diet tips for students while in college.

The event was a big success, said Alyssa Smith, a junior from South Carolina majoring in exercise science, who is a member of #SafeFalcons. “I think the Heart Health table was a great and effective way to promote health, especially in the African American community,” she said. “We provided recipes and fun tools for students to utilize.”

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and can happen at any age. Professor April McCoy, #SafeFalcons advisor and Public Health professor, aims to bring awareness to students with these events “I wanted to bring an awareness that you do not have to be over the age of 50 to experience some form of heart disease,” she said. “I want them to also understand that the choices they make now in regard to their health can affect them in the long-run.”
With these events, #SafeFalcons continued their mission of educating SAU students. “I think that it was a great event being that it was the first time,” Professor McCoy said. “We received donations for the American Heart Association and the #SafeFalcons Peer Health Educators made money to support their efforts in making SAU a safe and healthy campus.

The organization also held a Heart Health Fair in the MLK Foyer on Feb. 19. Led by #SafeFalcons Peer Health Educator and Mr. Safe Falcons, Alexander Storr, the event was intended to be informational and engaging. Various agencies provided resources and services at the event.

— Jeydri Urbina