The Office of Student Affairs and the Student Government Association (SGA) recently
hosted PCOM’s first-ever Wellness Week, a weeklong series of activities designed to
promote health and wellness among the student body and the campus community at large.
The slate of events included a pet therapy session in the Student Activities Center;
a yoga class; a Quizzo competition; an arts and crafts session with coloring, drawing
and origami; a healthy cooking demonstration with Budd Cohen, director of dining services;
a lecture on motivation and self-compassion with Scott Glassman, PsyD ’13, clinical
associate professor, psychology and associate director of the MS program in Mental
Health Counseling; and a jam session, where attendees were encouraged to try out
a new musical instrument.
The week was designed to help relieve stress and attempt to break the stigma surrounding
mental health issues that is often found among medical students. The week was co-sponsored
by PCOM Wellness, and all events were open to faculty and staff as well.
“There have been pockets of activity all around campus which focus on wellness,” said
Ruth Conboy, LPC, NCC, a counselor in the Office of Student Affairs. “We felt an event
like this could was a good way to tap into those existing resources and bring them
together under one umbrella.” She and John Costa, associate director for Campus Life,
worked to identify the various groups and develop the week’s programming.
At the beginning of the week, participants filled out cards with wellness pledges,
which had goals they hoped to achieve, and at the wrap-up on Friday, they revisited
the cards to see if they had been able to meet those goals. Research shows that providing
information about healthy behaviors isn’t enough; goal-setting is incredibly helpful
and effective in affecting behavioral change.
“We wanted to show that there were tangible things that could be done to help improve
mood and relieve stress,” Ms. Conboy said. “These are things that can be easily replicated
on their own time, and take just a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment.”
Kang (Sol) Han (MS/Biomed ’16), chair of the SGA Senate, said she participated in
a similar event while an undergraduate at Penn State, and wanted to implement it here
at PCOM. She worked with Mr. Costa and Ms. Conboy to coordinate the week’s efforts,
and she says these types of events—which she, Ms. Conboy and Mr. Costa hope will be
annual—can be helpful for all students at the graduate level and above.
“Many of us in health care are focused on taking care of others, but we need to take
care of ourselves first,” she says. “Thinking you can’t ask for help when you’re stressed
out can make the problem worse. We’re trying to create a more open mindset among students
so that they know it’s ok to ask for help if they need it.”
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact: Daniel McCunney Associate Director, News and Media Relations Email: email@example.com Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: