Mississippi College

MC Student Nurses Promote Wellness at the Mississippi Baptist Convention

October 31, 2012

Mississippi’s health statistics are grim. The state’s rates of heart disease and diabetes are the worst in the nation. The Magnolia State is the most obese in America.

With that in mind, 21 Mississippi College student nurses offered wellness tips and provided health screenings to scores of visitors at the Mississippi Baptist Convention in Jackson.

They served pastors, their wives and others at the 177th annual convention at First Baptist Church, a few blocks from the Mississippi Capitol. As October came to a close, the theme for the MC School of Nursing health fair at the statewide gathering was “rocking out to the beat of good health.”

At her stress management table, MC student nurse Kaylan Duggar of Madison stayed busy as a steady stream of visitors stopped by.

“We talked about ways to exercise, listen to music, read the Bible and pray,” Kaylan said. “We educated people about how to manage stress.”

At a nearby table, student nurse, Brittany Clark of Pelahatchie said encouraging folks to change their eating habits was a good way to improve their health in a society that feasts on fast food.

MC nursing students have given flu shots, done glucose and cholesterol exams, and administered blood pressure checks for nearly 20 years at the Baptist Convention. The timing this fall was perfect.

“It’s a good time to get a flu shot,” said MC School of Nursing professor Mary Ann Henriques.

President Lee Royce was among the visitors taking his flu shot at the convention Tuesday morning. MC nursing student Greg Tisdale of Saucier calmly administered the shot to the Christian university’s leader. Royce made other stops at the health fair before venturing out to meet with the state’s Baptist leaders.

Staying healthy has been a struggle for generations in the nation’s poorest state.

Too often, low-income Mississippians are “eating the cheapest foods and they are the worst for you – high in fat and calories,” Henriques said.

Wrapping up Wednesday, including a speech by Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter of New Orleans, the annual meeting attracted many people with Mississippi College connections.

Other speakers included MC graduates such as Jim Futral, executive director-treasurer with the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and Rory Lee, executive director of the Ridgeland-based Baptist Children’s Village. Wayne VanHorn, dean of the School of Christian Studies and the Arts and a former Columbia pastor, made the rounds greeting MC alumni.

With voters to cast ballots in the presidential election November 6th, Mississippi Baptist Convention messengers also prayed for the nation and asked God to bring revival to America.

Photo: Mississippi College student nurses Nataki Craig of Ridgeland, Anne McAtee of Lake Charles, La. and Brittany Clark of Pelahatchie were among 21 MC seniors doing health screenings and offering wellness tips at the Mississippi Baptist Convention in Jackson.

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