Last Saturday, Alpha Epsilon Delta hosted the Annual Pre-Health Conference. The conference ran all day and focused on “The Changing Landscape of Healthcare,” or more specifically, the existing needs of the U.S. healthcare system. Occupying several rooms in the Bush Student Center, the event offered a broad range of activities for SLU students.
“We had a wide variety of speakers, including the keynote Ryan Barker from The Missouri Foundation for Health,” said Shelby Lee, AED President. “His talk centered on the focus for the conference: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare.”
Other guest speakers focused on the importance of a healthy diet, health disparities in the St. Louis area and medial malpractice cases. The idea for hosting a pre-health conference came from students attending the national AED convention. Taking an initiative, SLU executive board members decided to start something similar at SLU, and in 2012 AED hosted their first conference.
“We enjoyed some of the hands-on experiences offered, and implemented those into our conference at SLU,” said Lee about her experience at the national convention.
By tying together activities with the speakers’ lecture themes, the students got to be more hands-on and benefit from the experience. For example, suturing labs allowed students to try their hand at stitching up a fake piece of skin and a first aid lab gave students the opportunity to practice drawing blood from a patient. Self-defense and Zumba classes were also offered as part of the conference’s itinerary.
“Personally, my favorite part of the conference is the suturing labs and first aid labs,” said Tiffany Chen, Vice President of Public Relations for AED. “It gives me a taste of what my future will look like.”
The conference not only provided critical information for anyone in the healthcare field but it also encouraged SLU students to take their well-being seriously. Besides the activities and speakers, AED provided pamphlets with healthy food ideas for college students and healthy snack giveaways. Keeping up a healthy diet as well as a healthy body, was a key take away from the event.
Preparation for the conference started in early November, with the executive board and their vice presidents planning little by little. From inviting speakers, planning sessions, advertising, to piecing together those last minute details, the conference took months to prepare for. But the time and effort was well worth the wait.
“[AED] offers pre-health students amazing opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Lee.