Students display what health looks like in Will County

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Lewis University students display what health looks like in Will County

Published: February 11, 2014.

Two children drinking water out of reusable bottles exhibit healthy living with consideration for the environment, flowers show the balance of nature in Will County and a recently completed sidewalk by the C.W. Avery Family YMCA demonstrate access to exercise opportunities. These are just a few examples of the photographs Lewis University nursing students and other community members recently submitted for the Photovoice Project by the Will County Health Department.

The accepted photos were placed on a poster board and displayed along with opinion cards for viewers to fill out with their perceptions of how the photos represent quality of life in Will County. The display is traveling through various locations throughout Will County.

The project was part of the Mobilizing for Action Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) initiative that looks at the holistic wellness needs of Will County. The social action campaign allowed for open expression and dialogue with community members.

“We will collect the comments and they will be incorporated into our Community Themes and Strengths Assessment report which shows the perception of Will County residents around quality of life issues,” Julie Edwards, a facilitator of MAPP and director of Community Health Strategy at Presence Health, said.

The project allowed for the students to connect their classroom learning to their community. The students were enrolled in the “Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Across the Lifespan” course in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Twenty-three accelerated undergraduate nursing students in the BAC-BSN program submitted photos through social media to the Photovoice Project that demonstrate quality of life in Will County.

“The focus of the Health Promotion class is to look beyond health care needs just in the hospital and of people with health issues, but to the community at large and promoting health and preventing negative health outcomes,” Lewis University Assistant Professor of Nursing/Coordinator of Continuing Education Nanci Reiland-Peek explained.

To learn more about the Will County MAPP initiative and the Photovoice project, visit

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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