Campus Life

Wellness Program looks to reduce vascular disease

The University of Lethbridge Wellness Program, the Health Centre and the Faculty of Health Sciences are once again collaborating to provide a vascular screening program to staff and faculty at the U of L. The goal – reducing the risk of vascular disease.

Health Canada recognizes that access to health is essential to a healthy, productive population. In 2008, a special project was developed to perform Vascular Risk Assessments (VRA) on a selected group of employees at the University of Lethbridge and it was very well received. Now, a follow-up program has been developed to re-visit people seen during the initial project and to allow for assessments of other employees.

The goal of the program is to support, educate and motivate U of L staff and faculty to choose to make important lifestyle changes that have the potential to improve their quality of life, both at home and at work.

The screening process involves the collection of data such as blood pressure, weight, height, waist circumference and fasting lipid and glucose profile using a Cholestech machine. It is then compiled to help establish an individual's risks. After that, it's up to the employee.

Individuals will have the option to participate in one-on-one coaching and to attend information sessions to address their health concerns. The data information may also be given to the individual's physician if requested.

It is a fairly simple procedure (the total time commitment could equal approximately four hours, with the initial screening just a 30-minute exercise) with a potentially huge benefit.

The screening period will begin in October and take place Thursday mornings (individuals are required to fast for the screening portion). All data gathered from the screening will be treated with extreme confidentiality.

Those interested in participating in the vascular screening program are asked to complete a questionnaire to assist with prioritizing appointment scheduling. The Wellness office will attempt to schedule everyone interested in the program and although space is limited for the fall, plans are to make this an ongoing program with more opportunities available in February 2010.

Contact Suzanne McIntosh ( for more information. The Wellness office is also available for presentations to individual campus departments.