UAB graduate Amie Guice hired as first registered dietitian with the Student Health and Wellness Center. (Photo courtesy of Amie Guice).UAB graduate Amie Guice hired as first registered dietitian with the Student Health and Wellness Center. (Photo courtesy of Amie Guice).Anna Sims - Digital Copy Editor

The Student Health and Wellness Center
opened its newly-renovated facilities during the Fall 2015 semester, and they plan to reinvigorate their services to students during Spring 2016. One of the major changes includes bringing on a full-time dietitian for students. Amie Guice, a UAB graduate, has recently taken this position.

“This is the first time Student Health and Wellness has offered dietitian services to students at UAB and we are very excited to have Amie on board” said Angela Stowe, director of Counseling and Student Health.

“This is a first step in providing this important service for our students,” said Michael Faircloth M.D., the medical and laboratory director. “The vision is to help facilitate engagement in healthy behaviors for the long term health and well-being of students, while at our campus and beyond. This will involve personal consultations and, as we grow, very visible outreach events that can potentially impact many students.”

Guice’s duties will include counseling students with eating disorders and disordered eating, obesity, malnutrition, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease, GI problems, food allergies and other physical and mental health conditions.

“As a dietitian at Student Health and Wellness, I aim to help students learn about how nutrition impacts their health while they develop a healthy relationship with food and meet their nutrition-related goals in a way that is realistic and attainable,” Guice said. “Our society is constantly bombarded with messages about what to eat and what to not eat and how our bodies should look and function and how they should not look and function. I aim to take what can seem so complex and convoluted and simplify it, because I want students to learn that eating healthfully and having a healthy relationship with food is possible for them, and it no longer has to be a burden in their lives.”

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, “In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.”

Guice explained these numbers. “It is likely that the number of college students who have eating disorders is even higher than what statistics tell us because eating disorders are so often kept hidden until serious health problems occur as a result of the eating disorder behaviors.”

Also, eating disorders show the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to the Center for Eating Disorders. The NEDA launched a survey project on 165 college campuses nationwide to address the underserved issue and found that “greater funding and resources are needed on college campuses to educate, screen and treat students struggling with eating disorders.” The site continues to explain that “the increased pressure and stress of school and leaving home may lead to mental health problems among college students and a greater need for campus services.”

UAB is listening and responding to this need for counseling services surrounding eating disorders. This semester at the Student Health and Wellness Center, Stowe explains that they plan to introduce new group opportunities for students as well as begin a Collegiate Recovery Community weekly seminar group. Also, Student Health is “working to implement a branded Women’s Health Clinic,” according to Faircloth.

Students may be referred to Guice by medical providers, counselors or athletic trainers. Guice contacts students once they are referred to her by one of these individuals.

Guice will be on maternity leave for six to eight weeks at the beginning of the semester, but her services will resume in full when she returns.
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