UIW’s Health Hut: Promoting Wellness on Campus

September 15, 2023

Students and visitors to UIW’s Broadway campus might have noticed a red and white tent located just in front of the AT&T Science Center donning the words “Health Hut”. The new fixture is often seen being operated by student workers, ready to help those who approach the tent. But what exactly is the Health Hut?

The Health Hut is a student led information suite that serves as a resource to those on campus seeking materials on various health and wellness topics. Each month, the Hut chooses specific health and wellness related themes to highlight and inform the campus community on. Its goal is to encourage and empower the UIW community to achieve overall health, happiness, and success.

Dr. Shaylon Rettig, UIW Health Services medical director, helped to establish the Hut and oversees its operations.

Rettig explained that the Health Hut came about after UIW’s Health team attended the Southwest American College Health Association regional meeting in January 2023. The team noted that other attending schools raved about their own health huts and how they have benefited their communities in terms of health-related education. The UIW Heath team considered how the presence of a health hut could benefit its own community. Thus, the UIW Health Hut came to be.

“The pandemic shed a light on the gaps on the focus of health and wellness in our daily lives,” Rettig noted.“It required us to put health and wellness at the forefront in order for us to cope with the challenges during that time. We know that employees and students who actively engage in improving the various dimensions of wellness are more productive at work and more likely to graduate from college.”

During the month of September, topics that will be highlighted include:

  • Reproductive and Sexual Health
  • Benefits of Yoga
  • Healthy Aging: The Importance of Nutrition and Mobility
  • Mental Health

Not only is the Health Hut providing students with key information, but Cardinals in UIW’s Nutrition Department who operate the suite are also learning valuable lessons in leadership and the most effective ways to share wellness information with a certain demographic, experiences that will benefit them in their careers. “The Health Hut is for the students, by the students. We feel that peer-to-peer interaction is one of the best ways to engage students and create a sense of belonging in our community,” Rettig explained.

Ben Garza, a student worker at the Health Hut and graduate Nutrition student, shared that working at the Hut allows him and his classmates to aid their community. “It gives us an opportunity as the Nutrition department to spread some good information, and share some helpful resources and snacks with our community, faculty, and our students,” he explained.

Students, employees and campus visitors seeking helpful resources related to health and wellness are welcome at the UIW Health Hut throughout each month to receive helpful information on various topics.