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Take Control Of Your Health With “HAWK”

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WILKES-BARRE -- Do you know your weight, blood pressure, or body fat composition?  When is the last time you had an orthopedic screen or a stress test for your hear?

Many times you'd only have access to all of that if you were having a problem.  Now, it's all available to you for free in Wilkes-Barre, and it's a learning opportunity for the Kings College students in charge.

We found a student wearing a lot of wires, looking like he was in the middle of a science experiment.  It's an electrocardiogram stress test, meant to take a look at how his heart responds to stress.

It's just one of the stations you'll find at HAWK, the Health and Wellness at King's program, at Kings College on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

"It's fairly comprehensive.  There's no other place anywhere that does that cocktail of tests, so it's pretty unique in its depth and breadth," said Dr. Jan Kretzschmar, Director of Exercise Science at Kings.

He started HAWK a year and a half ago as a way to give his students real-life, hands-on experience while doing some good for the community, which he says is in need of a medical wake-up call.   Dr. Kretzschmar notes that in the 60 or so people they have seen so far, they've found a high number of red flags in cardiovascular and orthopaedic health.

"Pretty much across the board, everything is worse than the national average is, so it's good we're going this, addressing these issues so they don't lead to complications later on," he said.

This station, tensiomyography, monitors muscle function.  At this one, gait analysis, students watch as someone walks on a treadmill.  Using specific camera angles and software they can pick out potential problems with someone's feet, hips, or neck and spine alignment.

Kelsey Rynkiewicz is a senior athletic training student from Nanticoke who will graduate this May.

"It lets us practice our skills and get better at what we've been taught in classes and do more practical application of it," she says.

All the information gathered about someone from HAWK goes into a report, which is given to that person along with recommendations, maybe simple exercises they can do at home, or occasionally the suggestion to see a doctor.  The what-comes-next is Kelsey's favorite part.

"It's the more rewarding aspect of being in athletic training.  (It's) helping patients, helping them progress, helping to make their life better," Kelsey told us.

Men and women ages 21-75 are eligible to participate.  The screenings are is free and available by appointment only.  If you wish to schedule a screening send an e-mail to health.wellness@kings.edu.  HAWK program screenings are offered only on Mondays and Wednesdays, and only during the school year.