SRU to offer health management and vaccinations through Healthfest, Oct. 19


Student lifting weights

Slippery Rock University’s Healthfest returns to campus, Oct. 19, at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center. 

Oct. 11, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — You wouldn't know it from the recent run of warmer temperatures, but fall has in fact arrived and that means cold and flu season isn't too far behind. And with that in mind, Slippery Rock University is preparing to share the best methods of defense through Healthfest, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 19, at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center.

After taking last year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Healthfest returns for a 35th year in 2021 to educate students, faculty, staff and the general public through interaction with more than 50 exhibitors. The event will feature a variety of free preventative services and techniques to promote mental, physical and environmental wellness.

"Through the years, (Healthfest) has evolved to feature a wide variety of student presentations which comes as no surprise given the strength of our undergraduate programs in the areas of physical health and fitness," said Ryan Stack, assistant director of wellness at the ARC and Healthfest coordinator. "It's a great opportunity for those students to present what they do and what they know."

Sponsored by the Office of Campus Recreation, Healthfest allows various University departments, student clubs and organizations, and external heath care providers to offer services, including nutrition counseling, drug and alcohol awareness, vision and blood-pressure screenings and more.

Ryan Stack


New this year, Giant Eagle will provide COVID-19 vaccines. Students, staff and faculty can either start or complete their COVID vaccination series, or receive their booster, for those who received the Pfizer vaccine. Additionally, Giant Eagle will provide flu shots for University employees and community members.

SRU students can receive a flu shot through Student Health Services that will be in the station adjacent to the Giant Eagle pharmacists.

"To avoid lengthy wait times (for the vaccines), the best thing to do is to register online ahead of time," said Kristina Benkeser, director of Student Health Services. "If they register online, they'll have the opportunity to download the paperwork and bring it with them rather than having to do it onsite."

Student preregistration for COVID-19 vaccines is available by clicking this link.

Faculty and staff registration for flu and COVID-19 vaccines is available by clicking this link.

Students who will or have received the COVID-19 vaccine are reminded to also make sure their vaccination information is uploaded to the COVID-19 vaccine site on the Student Health Portal. In addition to being entered into the "Rock The Shot, Ink The President" drawings for free parking and tuition, students are still eligible to receive $50 in flex funds if their proof of vaccination is uploaded.

"I strongly encourage everybody to take a (needle) jab for the team, because this is how we get to stay healthy and stay on campus," Benkeser said. "Vaccination (against coronavirus) is the No. 1, best way to avoid hospitalization, to avoid death and to decrease your ability to transmit the virus to others. If (students) have any questions, please contact the SHS; we will assist them."

"Healthfest provides an opportunity for students to experience a different side of student life," said Stack. "This event is powered by students and targeted at students. This event, and the ARC, aren't just about the physical side of health and wellness, they're about overall wellness promotion and providing information that everyone can learn from."

For more information about Healthfest, contact Stack at 724.738.2924 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Zachary Gibson | 724.738.2091 |