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Community, Media Invited to Learn About New Health Education Center
11/20/2001

FORT MYERS, FL - It’s a grand opening, it’s all about health and the community is invited to participate in the official launch of Florida Gulf Coast University’s new Health Education Center at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27 in Griffin Hall Rooms 170 and 172.

The Center is designed to help participants of all ages learn to live a healthier lifestyle and show that learning about health is fun. It features life-size displays, dynamic models and multimedia presentations. Interactive, animated exhibits with light and sound - reminiscent of a video arcade - help demonstrate good health habits and nutrition, and help explain the cycle of life to children, teens and adults.

The Center accommodates about 120 visitors per day. So far, the majority of guests are from Lee County, but some students from Charlotte County have made trips and Hendry County schools are incorporating a summer program. Pre and post testing are done to meet the needs of students and teachers.

“To me it is very exciting. The sky is the limit,” director of the Center Kathryn Kleist said. “Another important aspect of all of this is the shortage of people in health care professions. By exposing students to health education programs on the FGCU campus, we are hoping they will think health professions and FGCU for their future. A win-win for all.”

All of the learning programs and displays associated with the Health Education Center were once part of the Lee Health Education Center sponsored by the Lee Memorial Health System. FGCU agreed to incorporate the program under the College of Health Professions.

The day’s events include a special financial gift presentation that will help support the new Center. President William C. Merwin will be on hand to accept the generous donation.

“Without this gift we would not be able to continue our already existing programs which would be very sad since we provide health education to over 15,000 (visitors),” Kleist said. “Our existing programs are mainly for students pre-school through middle school. This gift and change in location allow us to expand our educational programs and offer programs for adults and special groups, reaching into the community. It also allows us to expand our resources and use FGCU expertise to offer combined health education, nutrition, exercise and environmental education programs, workshops, seminars, health fairs and summer camp.”

The College of Health Professions has fully accredited programs in each of its clinical discipline areas and outstanding faculty are committed to excellence in education that will prepare a caring and highly competent health workforce for Southwest Florida. As an accredited comprehensive public university, FGCU addresses the higher educational needs of Southwest Florida and provides a learning-centered environment that offers high quality educational opportunities for the public.

For more information, contact Kleist at (941) 590-7502 or kkleist@fgcu.edu.

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