Cooper Medical School gets new Wellness Center

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Cooper Medical School of Rowan University has taken a step toward providing students with the tools to maintain their own health as they become doctors, installing a wellness center for the campus to use.

Situated at the heart of South Broadway Street in Camden, directly across from Cooper University Hospital, is Rowan’s five-story medical school building. Since the school’s opening in July of 2012, until April 2015, one half of the fourth floor remained unused and unstructured.

Of the multiple ideas for the space suggested, a wellness center seemed most appropriate. The new center includes a wellness room, two meditation rooms, showers and changing rooms, fitness supplies and instructional fitness tapes. The wellness room is nearly the size of a professional basketball court, with full-length windows stretching across one side of the room, and mirrors on the opposing wall.

“The wellness center is absolutely a positive thing for the students,” said Dr. Paul Katz, Dean of Cooper Medical School. “Medical school can take a toll on the well being of a student. Any stress reliever needs to be done on a recurring basis. The reason we put it there is to give [students] an opportunity to utilize it.”

Total access to the facility and the weekly yoga and fitness classes is free for all students and staff.

“It’s really nice because I love to take yoga classes, but in a studio it’s usually pretty expensive, so I like to take advantage of what they do here,” said Samantha Kennedy, a first year medical student at Cooper.

Aside from the instructor-led classes, students participate in group-workouts using the tapes provided by the Wellness Center.

“The space is perfect for us [students] since we’re in school all day, and we’re in Camden,” said Courtney Curran, first year medical student at Cooper. “It’s usually dark out when we get home, so it’s really nice to be able to work out here,”

Many students have taken advantage of the wellness center to support Steve’s Club, a member-based national fitness organization for at-risk youth. The students involved often use the Wellness Room with coaches and teenagers from Camden to work towards physical health and well-being, while preparing the teenagers to apply to college.

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