Resh-Kamp Works to Improve Health of All On Campus

As bone-chilling winter weather and flu season hold Garrett County in a frigid grip, maintaining one’s good health can be a real struggle. On the Garrett College campus Jamie Resh-Kamp, Coordinator of Health Services for the college community, helps students, faculty, and staff meet that challenge.

“Disease and other health related problems can disrupt educational opportunities and even the future productivity of an individual. We strive to promote the health of our students to enable them to succeed in achieving their goals while here at Garrett College as well as throughout their lives. We encourage members of the college community to take advantage of the assistance provided through the GC Health Services Office and to make us a fundamental part of the campus support system,” Resh-Kamp said.

A Registered Nurse, Resh-Kamp provides a variety of services to prevent illness, encourage wellness, and to treat health problems. She describes her areas of responsibility as education, prevention, and assistance, and she uses diverse approaches to meet her goals in each of these categories.

Newsletters that Resh-Kamp sends out to everyone on the campus touch on health issues that are particularly cogent to a college community. The articles often include information on nutrition which is widely recognized as vital to maintaining good health and warding off a wide range of diseases. Recipes are also included. Other newsletter topics may include dangers of alcohol abuse, breast cancer awareness, the importance of exercise, avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, and tobacco cessation.

Resh-Kamp uses bulletin boards in the hallways where students wait to go into classrooms and in the cafeteria where they gather for meals or between classes. “I like to create visual displays to catch the attention of students and get a health-related message across to them,” she said.

From time to time, Resh-Kamp will plan potluck luncheons with a health related theme for staff and faculty members who too frequently grab a quick, not-so-nutritious meal at their desks. “We often combine a luncheon with a health-related discussion. It is a good way to bring people together in a comfortable setting to share information,” she said.

Her health education programming also includes guest speakers as well as campus events which may be coordinated with other college departments or local health agencies, as well as with Priority Partners, which is owned by Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC and the Maryland Community Health System. The organization has a community outreach presenter in Western Maryland.

Resh-Kamp explained. During Fall semester a number of health and wellness programs were provided on campus. These included Safe Sex 101, offered in conjunction with the Garrett County Health Department; Stress Reduction and Dealing with Cold Weather which were both coordinated with Priority Partners; National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, presented through the joint efforts of various college departments and county agencies; and Give the Gift of Being Here This Holiday Season, offered jointly with the Health Department.

Bringing health education to a personal level, Resh-Kamp is available for one-to-one meetings with students to discuss individual health concerns as well as blood pressure, weight, and body fat checks as needed. From such interviews she is able to determine what further intervention may be helpful, she said.

To encourage prevention of illness, Resh-Kamp coordinates activities for students that require putting a “good health message” into practice such as the Great American Smoke out Activities and the End of Semester De-Stress Programming. “We also offered a Men’s Health program and a Women’s Health program through Priority Partners. These both focused on avoiding illness through proactive measures,” she said.                     

Vaccination clinics, specifically flu, are offered to all members of the college community. Many people take advantage of these clinics each year, which are provided in cooperation with the Garrett County Health Department.  “Taking steps to avoid the flu is definitely easier than succumbing to an illness that can be serious and prolonged. In addition, with so many people interacting at the college, flu can spread rapidly,” Resh-Kamp said.          

Partnering with the Garrett County Health Department, personal health clinics and tobacco cessation programs are also coordinated by Resh-Kamp for students and employees of the college. She also makes referrals to medical providers and other to health resources in community to address needs presented by those visiting her office.  “At Garrett College we are committed to working with our students to create a positive and successful college experience,” Resh-Kamp said.

The Garrett College Student Health Office is part of the Student Life Department. More information on free services provided and other health related topics is available at www.garrettcollege.edu/student_life/