Students promote "Guts & Glory" digestive health event

Students enrolled in the Penn State Berks Public Relations Media and Methods course are working with My Gut Instinct, Inc. and St. Joseph Hospital this fall to help promote ?Guts and Glory? Digestive Wellness Expo through a variety of print, broadcast, and social media. The event will be held on Saturday, October 4, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, PA. The expo is free and open to the public.

The course, taught by Catherine Catanach, APR, Program Coordinator and Lecturer in Communication Arts and Sciences, is providing students with real-world experience in promoting a public health and wellness event. Some of the platforms the class has used include print, broadcast, and social media. In addition, two bilingual students in the class translated and printed flyers in Spanish for the Hispanic attendees.

Maggie Albanese, a senior majoring in Communication Arts and Sciences, is completing an internship at St. Joseph Hospital and is acting as liaison between the hospital and the students in the course.

The Guts to Glory event is organized by the non-profit organization My Gut Instinct, Inc. This is their first digestive and wellness expo and is billed as an ?exciting journey of wellness education, nutritional awareness, health consciousness, and family fun.

?Guts and Glory is the brainchild of Gastroenterologist, Dr. Aparna Mele, the founder of My Gut Instinct, Inc. Dr. Mele?s passion is educating the public about digestive health and overall wellness. The need for such an event, she said, was highlighted last spring with the release of a Gallop poll that listed Reading, Pennsylvania as the ninth ?most obese? city in the United States.

?As a nutritional doctor, my goal is to promote the digestive health of my patients, and a statistic like this is sobering,? Dr. Mele said. ?It is also sad because there are so many things that people can do to help themselves and this unique community event is one way to educate and inspire people to eat and live better.?

This event will feature two stage areas that offer live healthy cooking demonstrations, group fitness exercise presentations, inspiring personal stories, expert lectures, and a puppet show. The stadium also will be packed with educational booths, kids zones, massage tents, a farmer's market, healthy food vendors, live music, and salsa dancing.

Attendees at the event will also be able to journey through a 40-foot replica of the human colon known as Coco the Colossal Colon. The replica was created by cancer survivor Molly McMaster after she was diagnosed and treated for colorectal cancer at age 23. At four feet tall, the jumbo crawl-through educational display includes examples of healthy colon tissue, several non-cancerous diseases of the colon, polyps (precancerous masses), and various stages of colorectal cancer. The Colossal Colon was designed and built by Adirondack Scenic, Inc, a custom design and fabrication company. More information on the Colossal Colon is available at

My Gut Instinct, Inc., a non-profit educational organization founded by Dr. Aparna Mele, produces the Guts to Glory Expo, promoting community awareness of health and wellness through preventative health and holistic wellness being.  St. Joseph Regional Health Network is the presenting sponsor of the event. For more information about the Guts & Glory Expo, visit

For more information about the Penn State Berks Public Relations Media and Methods course involvement in the event, contact Catanach at 610-396-6159 or via e-mail at [email protected].