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Pharmacy Students Launch Wellness Initiative

by Kathryn Sill, Public Relations Writer

A student organization at Cedarville University is launching a wellness initiative to motivate students, faculty and staff to practice total body health.

CU Pharm Fit, an initiative launched from within the graduate pharmacy program, comprised of students, faculty, and staff from Cedarville’s School of Pharmacy, focuses on five core areas associated with complete wellness: nutrition/hydration, exercise, sleep, relaxation and spiritual growth.


The new program is being spearheaded by second-year professional pharmacy students Kara Bobka (Bellaire, Ohio) and Laura Farleman (Baldwinsville, New York).

The duo is working on the project under the supervision of Melody Hartzler, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and Andrew Straw assistant professor of pharmacy practice.

While the initiative will focus primarily on physical health, the students understand that there are many additional factors associated with one’s overall health and wellness.

“Health is more than just physical – it encompasses one’s emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being as well, which is what we as health care professionals are trying to emphasize,” Bobka said. “As health care professionals, our primary goal should be to prevent the development or worsening of disease or illness through these initiatives and our relationships with our patients rather than just masking the discomfort until it becomes too unbearable that extreme measures must be taken.” 

“The wellness initiative is important for pharmacy professionals, and really anyone working full time,” said Hartzler. “When you begin to juggle the responsibilities of a job and the everyday tasks in life, it results in less time devoted to taking care of the body.”

The program is divided into two phases. The initial, phase 1 launch is already underway this spring semester (2016). A baseline survey assessment will ask participants for basic information about their lifestyle and current wellness habits. After a 5 week wellness challenge, a follow-up survey will be distributed to determine the impact and areas for improvement. Each week, participants will select a goal(s) related to that week’s wellness topic. For each goal the participant completes, he or she will be eligible for entry into a prize drawing. A more robust, individualized program is planned to launch in fall 2016.

“As health care professionals, it’s important for us to embrace healthy lifestyles now in order to set an example for our patients,” Farleman said. “We cannot tell patients to reevaluate their health and wellness habits if we are neglecting our own health and well-being.”

The new wellness initiative will be open to pharmacy students, faculty and staff.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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