Lafene programs merge to promote student wellness


Most people associate a program name like Healthy Decisions with eating right and nutrition; however, K-State HD focuses on myriad aspects of student health in the physical as well as physiological realm.

Over the past summer, the K-State HD program underwent a merger with Lafene Health Center. While the student-led board remained intact and the program name unchanged, the merger reflects a movement toward a more uniform and networked operation of the various campus health groups.

Julie Gibbs, director of health promotion and nutrition counseling at Lafene, explained in a phone interview that “Healthy Decisions serves as a compass to community resources for students.”

The program’s website offers information to help students find a program, support option or even a class suited to their individual needs. Some of the services offered include CPR and first aid training, a smoking awareness and cessation group, K.I.S.S. and a college credit course, Healthful and Safe College Life, or EDCEP 103.

While the HD program offers resources for students who are facing serious issues, there are also many resources aimed at helping students maintain a healthy balance between the various aspects of college life. Most notably, an interactive graphic on the Healthy Decisions homepage called the “wellness wheel” breaks down the balance of college activities in a colorful, annotated pie chart.

In addition to web-based resources, Briana Caspers, marketing co-chair for the program and sophomore in pre-journalism, explained that the K-State HD program is making an effort to purport a community presence. Most recently, the group hosted a “Wellness Wednesday” during the Week of Welcome which focused on the importance of hydration for students on campus.

The recent merger with Lafene has also allowed the existing groups, S.N.A.C. (Sensible Nutrition And body image Choices); S.H.A.P.E. (Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators), which is offered through the university for undergraduate credit; and S.H.A.C (Student Health Advisory Committee), to better integrate with the Healthy Decisions program.

Victoria Fort, member of Lafene’s S.H.A.P.E. program and senior in family studies and human services, said she recently became aware of the Healthy Decisions program at a retreat for the Lafene groups, which took place this past Saturday in the K-State Student Union.

“It was intriguing to see how we all can work with each other to organize events and ideas as a united front,” Fort said.

Since joining the peer group S.H.A.P.E., Fort said she is more open to talking about sexual issues with the community.

“The group is defnitely open. At the Union Expo last week, S.H.A.P.E. passed out pamphlets and condoms to students,” Fort said.

The recent merger, Fort believes, will help create more awareness of the various health issues and services which the groups represent.

According to Gibbs, there will be numerous events promoting the Lafene groups, such as Healthy Willie Week, Sept. 6-8 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the dining facilities which will promote the services of the health center and the various services which it offers. Additionally, Gibbs stated that the K-State HD program will have pamphlets at all of their events which contain a truncated version of the portal to resources which the web offers.

Lafene will be hosting a health fair on Nov. 2 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. in the K-State Student Union. The event will again showcase many of the resources the center offers and will have doctors and nurses on hand to answer questions as well as administer flu shots. More information will be available on this event soon.

The newly revamped program aims to act as a portal to the numerous health resources K-Stae and Lafene have to offer. More information can be found online at or by calling 785-532-6595.