UCO Certified Again as Healthy Campus
The University of Central Oklahoma has maintained its standing as a Certified Healthy Campus for the seventh consecutive year, a distinction given by the Oklahoma State Department of Health for the efforts placed on overall health within the campus and community.
The “Shape Your Future” program, implemented by the OSDH, promotes campuses that set the standard for health and wellness in their communities. UCO received the highest designation, being regarded as an excellent campus for wellness standards.
Campuses in the state are evaluated based on policies and activities in areas like nutrition, physical activity, substance abuse and tobacco use, all of which UCO has scored exceptionally well in.
Alex Russell, assistant director of Health Promotion and Outreach at UCO, attributes the accolade to innovative guidance.
“Our university is set apart because our leadership is constantly thinking about the overall well-being of our students, staff and faculty, as well-being is a major factor in retention and success,” Russell said.
Since the UCO Wellness Center was built in 2003, the mission to “empower each other to live, learn and play well” has become a high priority. The Wellness Center offers personal training, instructional programs and other health resources. It is also home to the OU Physicians Health and Wellness Clinic for students, faculty and staff.
The Peer Health Leaders program consists of multiple campus departments that collaborate to bring programs like Stress Paws and Calming Central to the campus.
“Access to health education and resources are available from the Wellness Center, Health Promotion office and the Center for Counseling and Well-Being,” Russell said.
Health education is what brought senior nutrition major Kaivon Atkinson to UCO.
“UCO’s nutrition program has helped me understand what is necessary to get in the dietetic internship, and the program provides useful projects that have real world application,” Atkinson said.
UCO holds an annual Health and Nutrition Fair in which students and faculty can learn about healthy lifestyle choices from campus experts like Peer Health Leaders and the Food and Nutrition Club.
The UCO Healthy Campus program is currently working with stakeholders in the campus community to maintain the excellent distinction.
“UCO Healthy Campus is currently in the process of launching the National College Health Assessment, which will help the health and wellness programs on campus have a better understanding of the health status of our students to determine what programs need to be on campus,” Russell said.
To check out the health and wellness resources that are available, visit www.ucowellnesscenter.com or stop by the Center for Counseling and Well-Being on the fourth floor of the Nigh University Center.