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Psy.D. Students Host Community Health Event

By Brett Wilson | August 7, 2013

Members of the community were encouraged to reclaim their health at the wellness fair.
Photo courtesy of Jason Scott.

On Saturday, July 27, Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) students Reese Holt and Carla Sterling partnered with the Signet Family Life Center in Chesapeake, Va., to provide a free health and wellness fair for the members of the community.

"We noticed that in the Chesapeake area there were some health inequities," said Holt. "And we wanted to use what we have learned to bridge that gap and help the community move forward."

The wellness event, held at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, was a "one stop shop" for participating Chesapeake residents to receive screenings and demonstrations from local health experts. More than 20 representatives from different medical and psychological practices were present to engage the community in awareness of diabetes management, stroke prevention, various forms of cancer, and heart health.

As fourth-year Psy.D. students in clinical psychology, Holt and Sterling were fulfilling the requirements for their advanced practicum course. And though he acknowledged the wellness fair allowed him to fulfill the requirements for class and work with Dr. Stacie Otey-Scott '07 (SPC), who helped coordinate the event, Holt explained the event was more than just another class assignment.

"It went beyond being a student," said Holt. "It was something that Carla and I were passionate about—it was about seeing how what we've learned can be applied and sharing what we've learned and God's love to other people."

As the day progressed, Holt realized he was living out his calling. As he prepares to enter the mental health field, Holt has witnessed how fear of the unknown—like financial costs for certain illnesses, or receiving a frightening diagnosis—can hinder a patient from receiving the aid that they need.

"No one is ever ready for a diagnosis like that; it's never a convenient thing," said Holt. "So, to have a medical community that is sharing the love of God in a way that they provide their services and use their talents is important."

As he continues his program, Holt said he will keep the Biblical claim that to whom much has been given, "much is required."

"The education that we've been given is not just to show how smart we are to make money," said Holt. "It's to really reach out to people the way that Jesus did."

Learn more about the School of Psychology & Counseling.


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