The Living Arts Institute was one of 90 exhibitors at the Natural Triad Health and Wellness Show on April 10 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Students performed free chair massages and blood pressure checks, and faculty and staff networked for admissions, externship opportunities, and job placement.
The event was sponsored by Natural Triad magazine, a monthly publication that focuses on “natural health, complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, and the products and services that support good health.” Publisher and event organizer Matt Mulinic said that in its second year, this year’s fair “blew the doors off last year’s attendance.” Mulinic estimated that well over 12,600 residents from throughout the Triad had entered the exhibit hall by mid-afternoon, up more than 1,500 from the year before.
“We’ve done at least 200 blood pressure checks,” said Patricia Carter, R.N., who supervised Medical Assistant students Barry Atkins, Molly Hampton, Debra King, Debra Petree and Georgia Temple. LAI was the only exhibitor providing blood pressure screenings, though the school was one of many providing chair massages.
“But ours are the best,” said Assistant Campus Director Lauren Whitaker, who staffed the event along with Professional Services Co-Directors Ben Hatch and Heather Schicker. “I just had a 70-year-old woman tell me that the chair massage performed by Sam Crowell was the best she had ever had.” In addition to Crowell, massage therapy students Danita Bohannon, Tracy Dixon, Sandra Gallimore, Mary Gore, Endia Lewis, Sheri Myers, Gene Perry, Shelly Rignola and Bethany Voyles participated in the fair.
Along with the services provided, LAI offered coupons for free massages. “Students are required to perform clinical practice as part of their curriculum,” Hatch explained. “Members of the public can come into our facility and get a one-hour, full-body table massage.” Though the school will begin charging $20 for the practicum massages, those who bring a coupon from the health fair will not be charged.
Schicker said the health fair offered valuable networking for both students and staff. “I’ve met representatives from chiropractor’s offices, spas, and clinics that are going to be hiring, or could use an extern. We will definitely be following up on a lot of contacts that we’ve made here.”
LAI also offered two spa baskets as door prizes. Participants who completed a school interest card will be contacted by an Admissions Representative. The first two who complete a guided interview at the School will receive a basket, which contains massage oil, a spa towel, spa sound machine, stress relief wrap, back massager, aluminum water bottle, and LAI logo coffee mug.
Living Arts Institute, located at 1100 South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem, opened its doors in January 2009, offering day and evening diploma programs in Medical Assistant, Medical Billing and Coding, Medical Administrative Specialist, and Massage Therapy. It is a branch campus of Living Arts College in Raleigh, which confers baccalaureate degrees in photography, filmmaking, animation, audio production and interior design.