Nicholas Ruffolo

Major: Kinesiology and health
Company/Organization: UnityPoint Des Moines
Destination: Des Moines, Iowa
Timeframe: Fall 2020
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


- Assist wellness staff with early morning corporate accounts with duties that include: body composition, blood pressures, height and weight, waist circumference, etc. - Following HIPAA precautions when dealing with corporate account files. - Present a lunch and learn on a topic of choice. - Design and market a group fitness program or personal training class (supervised by wellness coordinator holding certification. - Assist in employee health programs such as: employee health fair, biometric screenings, health coaching, wellness committee, etc. - Assist with fitness center functions. - Create Bulletin boards, stall-mates, and provide education on a topic of choice at staff meetings (on a rotating staff schedule.


My greatest accomplishment of my internship has been creating an OnPoint program that will be featured on the UnityPoint homepage. This was a program that faculty can participate in to earn points towards rewards. After a certain amount of points gained, they will receive their reward. This program in particular was to complete 3 Sudoku puzzles per week for 1 month to help exercise your brain. This is a major muscle that needs to be exercised just as much as the other muscles in your body. This program was focused on the mental health of individuals participating.

Learning experience

My greatest lessons learned would be the need to be flexible at your job. This internship has tested that by the changing schedules from week to week. Another lesson learned was the need to be judgement free especially when working with individuals who are being measured by their BMI. It is important to have the highest degree of respect when talking over their BMI results, as well as their cholesterol, glucose, and triglyceride levels within their blood. Since going to screenings is the majority of the internship, these results will be discussed with many people on a daily basis by you and you are held to a high standard.

What advice would you give?

My advice would be to have real conversations with the people you meet everyday. You can really have an impact on someones life when they see the numbers that may be alarming to their overall health. Educate yourself away from the internship to really grasp what can be done for someone with high cholesterol (for example) to give them good advice to hopefully implement in their daily routine. UnityPoint works the awareness stage to a problem and by giving useful information to these people will help them live a happier and healthier life going forward.

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