Four state universities use creative way to enhance student health and wellness
TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 30, 2019) – Instead of battling it out on the football field or basketball court, the University of South Florida, University of Florida, Florida State University and University of Central Florida will compete in a new arena this week. For the first time, the four state universities are challenging each other to find out which one can get the most students to take a flu shot in a single day.
The competition, titled “4 ‘U’s Fight the Flu,” will take place simultaneously on each university’s campus from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Health and wellness are critical components to student success in college. The goal of this joint effort between the universities is to inspire students to get influenza vaccines and raise awareness about the important role staying healthy can play in academic performance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a vaccine prior to the peak of flu season, which often occurs later in the calendar year.
While the university with the most flu shots administered will win the competition, all four can claim victory in the fight to make their campus a healthier place.
“Getting the flu can result in multiple absences from class, which can be disastrous academically for students,” said Dr. Joseph Puccio, executive and medical director of USF Student Health Services. “The best way to prevent illness is by getting adequate sleep, washing your hands regularly and getting a flu vaccine early.”
USF Student Health Services will host the Oct. 2 competition outside of its building (SHS) as part of the annual Fall Health Festival. In addition to free flu shots, the event promises a festive atmosphere featuring food, giveaways, USF’s mascot Rocky, Herd of Thunder marching band, USF Spirit Squad and visits from university leadership. A campus map is available here.
More information about the competition is available by visiting usf.edu/flushots.
About University of South Florida
The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three separately accredited institutions: USF, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 50,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.8 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF ranks in the top 25 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2018, the Florida Board of Governors designated USF as a Preeminent State Research University, placing USF in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.