OSU Institute of Technology has achieved another record year for the Certified Healthy Department awards with eight departments across campus receiving the recognition for 2020. By receiving the Certified Healthy Department rating, a department has been recognized as providing a healthy environment and supporting the culture for an overall healthy campus and surrounding community.
The structure of the 2020 awards differed from years past and now features a tiered system. Certificates are now awarded to Gold, Silver and Bronze winners.
Financial Aid & Scholarships received the Gold Certificate, while the Office of Academic Affairs, Assessment & Career Services, Prospective Student Services , Student Life and Workforce & Economic Development received the Silver Certificate. The School of Arts, Sciences & Health and School of Creative & Information Technologies both received the Bronze certificate.
To accomplish the Gold, a department must achieve a score of 76-100; Silver winners scored 56-75, and Bronze winners achieved a score of 30-55.
“The applications were simply amazing, and I am beyond proud of all the hard work that is taking place across Oklahoma,” stated Kim Beard, assistant director of Employee Wellness at OSU Stillwater, in an email to all winners.
All Certified Healthy Departments receive a window cling and certificate to display and will also have their name listed amongst the winners on the OSU Stillwater Wellness website.
“Becoming a Certified Healthy Department is a yearly occurrence. I encourage other departments to get involved,” said Sam Nguyen, sports and wellness coordinator at OSUIT. “In the past three years, our number has increased, and I would love to see that trend continue.”
Each department defines health differently, but each practice little things each day that make it count. Chi Bell, assistant director of Financial Aid & Scholarships, thinks this certification is important as it represents the significance of health and wellness.
“The certification suggests that a department has been recognized as providing a healthy environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors, thus supporting the culture for an overall healthy campus and the neighboring community,” she said.
Financial Aid & Scholarships, the Gold certificate winner for 2020, has various activities and practices to get and stay healthy. The department leader encourages healthy initiatives which include participating in annual preventive screenings, and immunizations, such such as the Catapult biometric health risk screening, or with a primary care provider, encouraging and allowing time for professional development, utilizing OSUIT’s on-site Employee Assistance Program, and ComPsych, OSU’s enhanced employee assistance program and participating in community health initiatives and volunteer efforts, drives and the United Way campaign.
The School of Arts, Sciences & Health focuses more on physical health. The faculty and staff walk the outdoor trails, participate in employee intramural sports, choose the stairs over elevators, stay hydrated by taking advantage of the filtered water fountains on campus, and a faculty member even brings fresh vegetables from his garden to share with the department.
“We hope that there continue to be wellness innovators in all the departments across campus and that those certified departments continue to be recognized for the environment they foster for students, employees and guests on campus,” said Nguyen.