The Statewide Wellness Coalition is run by an amazing group of students from across the state. The executive team consists of one chairperson, the VP of Wellness (who also sits on the MSC board), vice presidents for all 8 dimensions of wellness, a secretary and a treasurer. Additionally, the coalition has a wide range of members consisting of 1-3 liaisons from each regional campus and class representatives from Indianapolis.Also having a seat at the table are members of existing student organizations such as FIRM, MedTalks, and the Vital Healing Project. This fantastic group of students aims to provide programming, events and work with administration for curricular change in order to reduce burnout and introduce students to effective self-care strategies for the eight dimensions of wellness—emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual.
We are pleased to introduce to you some of the 2019-2020 Wellness Coalition members:
Abigail Brenner, who serves as Chair and VP of Wellness of the Wellness Coalition.
Hi! I’m the VP of Wellness and Chair of Wellness Coalition. In my role, I help to coordinate Wellness Coalition activities, serve on the MSC exec board as a voice for wellness initiatives, and I meet with our advisor, Kristen Heath, and other administrators to work on wellness initiatives and to help serve as a voice for student wellness. My favorite wellness activities have been the hikes we have gone on at Eagle Creek and McCormick’s Creek!
VP of Environmental Wellness: Annie Jacobs
As the VP of Environmental Wellness, I enjoy planning both outdoor events and activities to brighten our inside environments, homes, and work spaces. My personal wellness is very much rooted in spending time outside hiking, kayaking, hammocking, etc. Additionally, I believe that the spaces we are emerged within on a daily basis have the ability to contribute to or detract from our sense of well-being. My goal is to plan events that foster enjoyment of nature as well as contribute to improving indoor environments.
For my position, I advocate for and promote wellness to my peers, plan events centered around emotional wellness, and assess the wellness needs of my classmates. I am currently working on setting up peer-to-peer “support” groups for second year students as well as a journaling workshop event.
My goal as the VP of Financial Wellness is to provide opportunities for students to develop financial literacy skills so that they are prepared and empowered to take control of their personal finances throughout medical school, residency, and beyond.
Medical school is an amazing journey and I believe that having someone to share it with it is very important. As VP of social wellness I strive to create events that help students feel like they are part of a bigger family and not alone.
I am a second year in Indianapolis, and I am the VP of spiritual wellness. I think spiritual wellness is very important for us as medical students to be able to stay connected to what inspires and motivates us in the midst of challenges.
Secretary: Brian Ceballos
Treasurer: Aileen Hoffman
My wellness tip is when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious I like to use the Headspace app for a quick meditation.
I joined the Wellness Coalition as one of the co-directors of MEDTalks this past year. Now that this year’s MEDTalks is over, I’m looking forward to supporting our future events and helping to ensure that we are meeting the wellness needs of the student body in the best possible manner.
Wellness Coalition leaders planning out the year to serve IU School of Medicine students in 8 dimensions of wellness.
I am involved in wellness because I believe we must care for ourselves first before we can care fully for others. This entails caring for all facets of our wellness- particularly physical, mental, and emotional. It is so important for us to lift each other up and stay accountable for one another during this challenging journey of medical school.
I work to organize events that help bring our class closer together. Through these events I hope to give my classmates a chance to relax outside of a school setting, experience and find joy in a new activity, or reengage in an activity alongside friends.
I think wellness is really important for everyone, but especially medical students because it has been proven that physicians deliver better quality of care and function at higher levels if their own personal wellness needs are taken care of!
The thing I like most about my position is working with my co-chair and my fellow classmates to plan events that 1) allow us to further bond as a class and 2) encourage everyone to explore various ways of becoming connected with one’s self in our lives outside of the classroom. Social Wellness and Physical Wellness are the two tenants I most live by, which show in many of the events we try to coordinate with the input of our classmates.
In charge of first year wellness events, I am in a position where I can advocate for myself and my class, as well as future medical students at IU. By focusing on the wellness of our class we not only will be better prepared to handle the stress of medicine, but become more aware of ourselves and those around us.
As the Wellness Liaison for the third year class in Terre Haute, I work with my class and the Wellness Liaisons from the first and second year classes to organize wellness activities to not only promote our health and well-being, but also to have fun together! I think this is important because we often neglect to take care of ourselves in medical school, and having these events help to remind us all to take some time each day for our own wellness.
Brian Niebuhr, MS1 Wellness Liaison
Jennifer Teeling, Wellness Liaison
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Kristen Heath is a Lead Advisor in the Mentoring & Advising Program at IU School of Medicine. She has worked in higher education for over eight years, starting her career off on Air Force Bases teaching Psychology coursework. She is passionate about lifelong learning and devotion to personal well-being. When she is not in the advising office you can find her teaching Zumba, dancing, or riding bikes with her son, Ryder. She is a fan of the outdoors and loves to camp, hike and garden.