The Special Populationís program was adopted in 1991 at McKinley Health Center in conjunction with the "Healthy People 2000" objectives, as indicated by the Surgeon General. One of the main goals of this program was to address the specific health problems experienced by minority groups, thus narrowing the gap between the total population and those population groups that now experience above average incidences of death, disease, and disability. A chief avenue for the pursuit of this goal is through making efforts that will enhance and promote human potential, while discouraging factors that inhibit it.
At that time, Jerry Ogbudimpka, who was completing his post-doctoral work, worked with the administration of McKinley Health Center to study the health needs of minority and international students at the University of Illinois. The outcome of this study was the implementation of programs to address the concerns found within the study. As a result, the Special Populationís program currently provides services to several special populations within the University of Illinois setting, including minority students, international students, women, gays/lesbians, and students with disabilities. The program has been used as a model by over 70 other universities, and the number of participants in the program is continually growing.
Key components of the program include an annual health and wellness fair and a variety of wellness activities promoting themes such as alcohol awareness, nutrition, sexual health awareness, hygiene, self-esteem, and peer pressure, which are provided to the university setting and to the surrounding community. The program is constantly under review and improving, as it is comprised of both student and faculty advisory committees.
Also an integral part of the program is the maintenance of this web site. This web page is designed to provide innovative ways to assess the health education needs and health-related information/services of target populations on the campus of UIUC. In addition, we seek to provide UIUC students and the general public with some specific information on health issues that directly and indirectly impact the target populations, as well as address common health problems faced by all college students.
If you would like to be a part of the Special Populationsí Program at McKinley Health Center, you are welcome to contact Health Education at 333-2714 or contact one of the officers.
© 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois