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Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holistic concept of health discussed by leading expert in health, poverty and social connections

Oct. 13, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Every day, Americans hear about what it takes to be healthy. Aside from exercise and diet, do we really know all of the factors that contribute to health? Mark Bergel, a nationally recognized expert in health, poverty and social connections, will present "Making Health Whole: The Shift in Public Health" on Thursday as the inaugural lecture in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation's Ruth Clifford Engs Lecture Series.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave. The presentation will focus on proactive and reactive perspectives in health, as well as all the contributing factors to living a healthy life.

Bergel is the founder and executive director of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and adults challenged by poverty, homelessness and abuse. Bergel holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a master's degree in health/fitness management from American University. He has worked extensively in a variety of fields that contribute to public health.

Prior to starting A Wider Circle in 2001, Bergel spent 15 years managing health and wellness initiatives and serving as a part-time professor and consultant in the Washington, D.C. region. He is a nationally acclaimed speaker in the fields of poverty, health and social connection and has been a featured guest on local and national television and radio programs. He has several publications and technical reports regarding a holistic concepts of health.

This lecture is the first for the Ruth Clifford Engs Lecture Series, which is named for Ruth C. Engs, professor emeritus in the School of HPER's Department of Applied Health Science. During most of her first 20 years, Engs explored factors for the determinants of behavior focusing upon university student drinking. She also designed and tested the Student Alcohol Questionnaire that is now used by hundreds of students and researchers each year around the world.

A health historian, she is working on a biography of Upton Sinclair as a health reformer and has published other books on health topics, including eugenics. Engs was awarded the School of HPER, Indiana University Outstanding Researcher Award in 2002 and the Robert Kirk Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee's Department of Health Education, 1997.

About the School of HPER

Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation encompasses a broad spectrum of academic interests and professional fields. HPER offers nearly 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs through its departments of Applied Health Science, Kinesiology, and Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies. To further its health and wellness initiative, Campus Recreational Sports provides sport and fitness services for the IU community and the public.

More information can be found at For more information about this and other events, please contact the School of HPER at