Overview of the Robert C Byrd Wellness Services

Planning for the Community- Campus partnership began in 1994 between Bethany College and the Brooke County Health Department following a community needs report that indicated poor health outcomes. Recognizing an opportunity to contribute to the community at large, the college made a commitment to assist the health department in improving the health of the community and the Robert C. Byrd Health and Wellness Center was established in October 2001 on the grounds of Bethany College. Through an agreement with Bethany College, the Brooke Health Department provides the administration (Karen McClain, MSN) and management (Sandy Rogers, BSN) of the community wellness program.

The sources of funding for the center have been through Senator Byrd, state funds, special awards, tobacco and alcohol grants, rural health grants and in kind resources from community agencies, Bethany College and the Brooke Health Department.

Over the years, the Community – Campus collaborative has expanded the partnership to include the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University Of Pittsburgh and the West Virginia Rural Health Education Division at WVU. These prestigious institutions provide faculty, staff and resources to the Wellness Services for health education and activities.

More than 20,000 area citizens have utilized the health education activities offered by the college wellness service. Although there is more work to be done, a 2006 community assessment had indicators of improved health.

Examples of programs are as follows:

  • CEU Workshops for Healthcare Professionals
  • Annual Conference: Current Trends in Community Health
  • CPR/First Aid Classes
  • Cardiac Kids & Family Nutrition Program for Schools
  • STD testing, counseling and education
  • Health Fairs
  • Cancer awareness & prevention
  • Tobacco Prevention & other substance abuse prevention
  • Exercise classes
  • Healthy eating & weight management
  • Prevention of chronic diseases
  • Health and Safety education
  • Presentations for civic groups

Phone number for the Wellness Center is 304-829-7567 or 304-829-7581 or for more information, contact Karen McClain.