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Healthy Gifts from Generous Donors Help Establish Wellness Center

October 2008

Lynn Perkes

Lynn Perkes prefers to look at the Wellness Center at BYU–Idaho as an academic rather than a medical facility.

The Wellness Center provides a long-awaited resource where students can practice what they’re being taught in the classroom. Perkes, the Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has been looking forward to opening such a facility for a long time.

Says Perkes: “The Wellness Center is actually one component in a more comprehensive concept designed to help students develop leadership and professional skills in a variety of settings. It combines academics with activities. On one hand, it offers an academic lab setting where students can apply health and fitness assessment and program prescription skills learned in class. On the other hand, it becomes part of the activities program, facilitating the application of knowledge and skills in a variety of settings outside the classroom.”

Thanks to the Wellness Center, students interested in pursuing a career in health care will be able to experience hands-on applications of classroom skills. Moreover, they’ll have opportunities for leadership development in accountable positions at the center. Student work will be closely monitored.

“Hired students will be assessed, to help them learn,” says Perkes, who will teach the class that is going to prepare students for positions at the Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center will offer patrons a number of health and fitness assessments. But this is just the beginning, Perkes says.

“As equipment is added and students are trained to provide additional services, we will experience an evolutionary progression leading toward our end goal of a comprehensive program that serves the wellness needs of the BYU–Idaho campus community.”

Dean Perkes helped to develop the proposal for the Wellness Center in association with individuals from six different academic departments and the school’s activities program. Once approved by the President’s Council, it was determined that the Wellness Center would be located in the Hart Building and that funds would be drawn from the Selected Academic Programs budget. The initial $24,000 allocation would be used for renovation of space in the Hart Building, start-up costs, and to pay the first student leaders at the facility.

Now that the Wellness Center is a dream come true, Dean Perkes wants everyone who contributes financially to BYU–Idaho to know of his appreciation. “I feel so much gratitude for being given the opportunity to work on something this important and worthwhile.”

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