OSUIT Sets New Record with 11 Certified Healthy Departments in 2023

OSUIT Sets New Record with 11 Certified Healthy Departments in 2023

OSUIT Sets New Record with 11 Certified Healthy Departments in 2023

OSU Institute of Technology set a new record of Certified Healthy Department certificates for 2023, with eleven departments recognized on campus for their commitment to making healthier choices. 


The CHD rating system awards certificates to departments on a tiered system, classifying winners as GoldSilver and Bronze. Two of the eleven OSUIT departments certified for 2023 earned gold classification status. 


"In 2022, OSUIT had six departments receive this award, with two departments achieving the Gold Status. In 2023, OSUIT had 11 departments receive this award, with two at the gold level. While almost doubling our numbers, there is no doubt in my mind this will lead to a healthier atmosphere across campus!" said Kyle Allen, sports and wellness coordinator at OSUIT. 


By increasing the number of certified healthy departments on campus, OSUIT is creating an environment that fosters healthier lifestyle choices for faculty, staff, students, and visitors on campus and in the community.


Each year participation in the program has grown, with 2023 seeing a record-breaking total of 134 departments across all OSU system campuses.


"As healthy employees, we are happier, more engaged, resilient, confident and successful," said Kim Beard, assistant director of Employee Wellness at OSU Stillwater. "We are better prepared physically and mentally to achieve our personal and professional goals, and we also understand that health and wellness are difficult to achieve alone."


All Certified Healthy Departments receive a window cling and certificate to display and select a wellness champion within the department to set goals and incentives. 


"Student Life has done a couple of unique things in the past year to encourage our department and campus, including purchasing our Evolt 360 body scan that allows us to incorporate fitness challenges and give important health numbers to OSUIT students and employees. OSUIT Health Innovators also held a campus-wide hydration challenge, where we tracked all water intake from participating groups," explained Allen. 


Dr. Ina Agnew, vice president of student services at OSUIT, said this is Student Services' first year for the division to be recognized. As a group, they have encouraged more water consumption, implemented walking meetings and made incremental improvements to exercise routines. 


The Certified Healthy Department initiative began in 2011 to recognize work groups at OSU Stillwater and align with Oklahoma's "Certified Healthy" program. It expanded to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Offices in 2014 and the OSU/A&M system in 2015.


Student Services has already noticed the positive impact of making healthier choices, "we can handle stress better, and there has been a decrease in the amount of time our frontline staff is out due to illness," said Dr. Agnew.